Why You Should Prune Trees in the Winter
tree-trimming-in-winter If you are just getting into landscaping, there are likely several tips you need to master before you can get your yard just right.
Knowing when to prune your trees, for instance.
Understanding the perfect time to prune your trees is crucial to creating and maintaining a breath-taking lawn or yard. Though it may seem trivial at first, the time you prune your trees can have major implications not only for individual trees themselves, but for the overall aesthetic of your property.
That’s why you should seriously consider pruning your trees in the winter. We know what you are thinking: “who wants to do yard work in the winter”? And, you’re right—sort of. Although it will certainly be colder outside, there are several clear benefits to pruning your trees in the winter. Let’s look at a few of them together so that you can be one step closer to creating that perfect yard!
- You Can See More Clearly
Let’s start with the first and most obvious advantage of wintertime tree pruning. When trees are in blossom, it can be difficult to take care of them, simply because you cannot see past the maze of leaves, blossoms, and branches. As a result, you are more likely to make mistakes and end up with a product that looks worse than what you started with.
Obviously, you don’t want that to happen.
That’s why it’s better to prune your trees in winter, when the leaves and blossoms disappear, leaving only the tree’s skeleton. During this stage, you will be able to accurately judge what you are doing, and, depending on your skill level, you will be able to get a final product in your mind’s eye before you even begin.
If you’ve never pruned trees before, you might consider hiring a service that will do the actual pruning part for you. Remember: the goal of wintertime pruning is to make sure your yard is as stunning as possible. Straying out of your comfort zone could jeopardize this goal by ruining your yard’s aesthetic appeal.
If you have a knack for pruning, however, you will find that wintertime pruning is much easier—just don’t forget your jacket!
2–Many Trees are Become Dormant
Depending on how far removed you are from school, there’s a good chance you’ve forgotten the details of plant biology. Despite this, it’s very likely that you still know the essentials. You know, for instance, that plants become more active in the springtime, where they begin their yearly thrive. You also know that when the weather turns colder, most plants drop their leaves and seemingly “disappear” for a while.
But did you know that many trees actually become “dormant”? By this, we mean that the tree is essentially in “hibernation.” Most trees have biological mechanisms that protect them from the cold, and this dormancy is simply one of them.
You may say: “Okay, but what effect does this have on wintertime pruning”?
The answer is simple—when trees are dormant, you are less likely to damage them or cause them to “bleed.” Bleeding in this context refers to a tree’s sap becoming exposed and oozing out of the tree. If you’ve ever pruned during the spring or summer months, there’s a chance you’ve seen this happen. This indicates damage to the tree. It also attracts unwanted attention to your tree, inviting bugs and parasites into your tree’s system.
It follows that avoiding this problem is a must when you prune your trees. So don’t be afraid of the cold—by pruning your trees in the wintertime, you’ll be doing them a big favor!
3-Little Insect ProblemAs previously mentioned, pruning your trees during the spring or summer months can lead to undesired results, namely “bleeding.” When your trees bleed, it can attract unwanted insects that come and eat away at your tree. This damages your tree’s health and ruins the appeal of your yard.
The lack of bleeding, however, isn’t the only reason that your trees won’t have an insect problem during the winter. Many insect species remain inactive throughout the winter, meaning that they won’t be there to terrorize you or your trees when you start pruning.
Serious landscapers can attest to this, especially those who’ve dealt with oak trees. Beetles that are notorious for damaging oak trees (causing the decay known as “oak wilt”) hibernate during the winter. That’s why you’ll rarely see anyone pruning their oak trees when it’s warmer outside.
Pruning your trees during the winter will go a long way to making sure that you take care of pesky bugs that will eat away at your trees or (perhaps even worse) spread serious diseases that could severely affect the health of your trees and the appearance of your yard. This is crucial for anyone looking to seriously up the grandeur of their property, and it leads us to our next point…
4-There is Less Chance to Spread DiseaseHow are diseases spread among humans? Usually, an infection is started when bacteria or viruses spread through an open wound and wind up in our immune systems.
The same general idea applies to trees. If you prune your trees during the warmer months, there’s a higher likelihood that they will “bleed.” Just like when we bleed, this opens your tree up to potential infections. You don’t want to expose your trees to any outside diseases or infections. This could lead to wilting or other undesirable physical or biological outcomes.
This is especially true for any fruit trees. If your tree is exposed to negative outside influence, it could affect the flowering of your trees and lead to bad fruit. If you depend on your trees not only for appearance but for harvesting fruit, as well, you need to take advantage of the wintertime to make sure that your trees are pruned in safety.
Even if your particular species of tree experiences mild bleeding during the winter, you can rest assured that many of the fungi, bacteria, and parasites that commonly infect trees are either dead or dormant during the winter. This means that diseases such as fire blight, Dutch elm disease, cedar hawthorn rust, and oak wilt are much less likely to infect your trees during the winter, no matter how much you prune.
5-Winter Pruning Better Preserves Tree BeautyMost of us love snow. We love the way it looks blanketing our yards, covering our trees, and falling from the sky—not to mention all the fun opportunities it provides us. But most of us might not know that snow (and particularly heavy snow) can damage and disfigure our trees. We get it—it’s likely not something you think about often. When it’s snowing outside, the last thought to cross your mind is that your trees are suffering possibly irreparable damage. The truth of the matter is, though, that wintertime can be brutal on your trees, and this is especially true for ones that are already burdened by being overgrown or damaged or are dying.
This is why you should take action to make sure that your trees are in perfect health in any given scenario. Pruning your trees during the winter can ensure that you don’t have to worry about heavy snowfall severely disfiguring your trees (and thus ruining your yard’s aesthetic). Instead, you can have a perfect lawn with trees that aren’t bent out of shape. tree-trimming-in-winter
This will also pay dividends later, when the trees grow in spring. You don’t want your trees to continue to grow crooked or in any aesthetically-displeasing way. Rather, you want to nip the problem in the bud” (no pun intended) and do all that you can to ensure your trees’ safety in the winter months.
6-Winter Pruning Results in Vigorous Spring GrowthThere is nothing like the springtime. After months of ice and cold, the world seems to open its eyes and “spring” forth in all its beauty. All puns aside, the awakening of springtime is something special to behold—particularly when you have pruned your trees in the winter.
The science is quite clear: pruning your trees during the winter leads to vigorous growth in the spring. Individuals who take the time to perform tree maintenance and upkeep in the colder months see more vibrant blooms and healthier looking fruits. tree-trimming-in-winter
This is because, during the pruning process, you are cutting away all the bad parts of the tree that are hurting its effectiveness in blossoming and damaging its appearance. Think about your hair. You know that your overall look improves drastically and that your hair grows its best when you cut away all the split ends. It’s virtually the same idea.
Sure, your trees can also experience growth if you prune them in other seasons, but they won’t have the same growth potential during spring if you wait too long or prune too early. That’s why you want to make sure that you prune them during the winter when they are essentially dormant and bursting with potential to grow.
7-It’s Better for Your LandscapeThough many of us don’t like the cold, hard feeling that is commonly associated with winter, it is actually highly beneficial for your trees and for your landscape in general. Unlike the spring, summer, and fall months when the ground is soft and easily ruined, winter ground is generally harder and less likely to be damaged by wear and tear.
This means that even if you require heavy equipment for your tree pruning during the winter, there’s a good chance that your ground and overall landscape will be spared from destruction. This is important for anyone looking for year-round lawn beauty.