Although there are exceptions that allow you to prune your trees in almost any season, winter is hands down the best time to schedule a trim. The following are five reasons why.
It's much easier to make precise cuts in winter after all of the leaves have dropped from the branches. Your tree tech can easily determine which branches need to be removed or trimmed back. They can even tell which branches are living or dead by checking the bud development. The main goal of pruning should be to remove dead wood and to maintain a healthy growth structure. When trees are bare, they can be assessed for structure and more precise cuts can be made to create a strong form.
2. Disease Prevention
Diseases and troublesome insects aren't active in cold weather. Just like the tree, they go dormant for the season. This means you can prune the tree without major concerns of diseases or insects invading the cuts. Further, there is less chance of transferring diseases between trees while pruning. Just make sure to dispose of the trimmings, otherwise, diseases and insects may overwinter in them.
3. Stress Reduction
Cutting into a tree when it is actively growing is very stressful for the plant. It must detract energy from leaf and fruit production in order to attempt to seal up the wound before disease finds its way in. When you trim in winter, there is no active growth going on. The tree will quickly seal up the wound as soon as growth resumes in late winter but before energy is needed for major leaf or flower production. This results in quicker healing and less stress.
4. Lawn Protection
Sometimes tree pruning can be hard on the rest of the landscape. Large, leafy branches can crush flower beds, and ladders can gouge out the turf. Pruning in winter prevents this type of damage because all of the plants are dormant. Further, if you prune while the ground is frozen, then your equipment is less likely to cause turf damage as long as you use a little bit of care.
5. Damage Prevention
In many areas, spring is a stormy season, replete with high winds and hail. If you wait to prune, all of the winter-killed or weakened branches can come crashing down. This puts your home in danger of damage as well as anything else beneath the trees like your car. Prune in late winter before spring roars in and you can avoid these issues.
Contact a tree pruning service to schedule a trim while the trees are still dormant this winter.