Many people express concern to me when they see our arborists working in the dead of winter. I’m really not the reincarnation of Simon Legree. Arborists love trees, and they brave the elements because winter is actually a good time to prune most non-flowering, deciduous trees. Deciduous trees are those that lose their leaves in winter.
Arborists can see a tree’s structure better in winter when there are no leaves on the branches, so they can shape the tree more precisely. Without leaves, it’s also easier to spot dead or broken branches. These need to be removed to help avoid breakage resulting from harsh winter weather.
Deciduous trees are dormant in the winter, and dormancy acts as nature’s anesthetic. No sap will ooze out of the wound and run down the tree. Best of all, the tree will get a head start on recovery while insects and disease organisms are still dormant. Then by spring, insect and disease resistant tissue will be well established and the wounds closed by the time pests wake up.
From a practical standpoint, frozen ground supports heavy equipment better and there is less debris to clean up.
Tree pruning is not a do-it-yourself job. Deciding what and where to prune involves an understanding of basic tree biology, sharp tools, and an artful eye. Also, tree pruning is one of most dangerous jobs, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s why tree care workers wear special protective clothing and equipment.
The best pruning advice I can give you is to call a pro. If you decide to try pruning a tree in your yard, and you have to leave the ground to reach branches you want to remove, or if you need to use power equipment, call a Certified Arborist. Your life is much too valuable to end it as a statistic.