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Winter Pruning Is Good For Trees

While the cold and snow mean more time inside for many of us, our arborists are hard at work outside because winter is the best time to prune trees. Here’s why:

• While we add layers of warm clothes to go outside, deciduous trees shed their leaves and spend the winter standing outside naked. This allows our arborists to see their skeletal structure and any defects that need correcting and repair.

• Dormancy is like nature’s anesthesia. Pruning wounds begin “healing” while the trees’ bodily functions have slowed. When the pruned trees break dormancy in the spring, they’ll be healthy.

• Insects are usually inactive during the colder weather, allowing the pruning wounds to heal without concern of insect damage.

• The frozen ground enables us to get our heavy equipment into places we wouldn’t be able to when the ground is thawed.

• With no leaves, there’s less debris, which keeps your property looking clean and is good for the environment.

We prune to meet specific objectives. It may be to clean out or thin the crown by removing dead, dying, crossing, rubbing, broken or weak branches. Removing these branches will reduce the tree’s chance of sustaining damage during wind, snow or ice storms.

Other pruning objectives include repairing trees that have been damaged by storms, reshaping those that have suffered such travesties as topping, opening a view, removing a hazard or reducing the size without topping.

As I warn in all my posts on pruning, it’s NOT a do-it-yourself task, especially in the winter. On a warm dry day there are more ways to be injured or die while pruning trees than we have room to cover here. Add into the mix icy weather and frozen and brittle limbs and the danger level sky rockets. Our arborists are trained to check for all of the hidden dangers before leaving the ground. If the tree’s not safe to climb, they’ll choose to work only from an aerial bucket.

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