Ever wonder what arborists do in the winter? Practical wisdom might lead you to answer that they go skiing, ice climbing or go to Florida. The truth is, though, that they stay here and continue working.
Arborists dress for the weather and take extra precautions on slippery surfaces. They’re used to it and trained to avoid hazards because they know winter is the ideal time to work on deciduous trees. The trees are dormant and that’s like nature’s anesthesia. Pruning, cabling & bracing and most other repairs are invasive procedures. Performing them now is far less traumatic than when sap is flowing, and the tree is foliated. Then the leaves are actively making food through photosynthesis.
Pruning cuts provide pests and pathogens with easy access to the interior of trees but many insects and disease organisms are dormant for the winter. Pruning now will give the wounds plenty of time to callous over before the insects and disease organisms become active again.
Defoliation allows our arborists to see the tree’s skeletal structure. With the leaves gone, our arborists can stand back and inspect the tree’s architecture and determine which branches need to be removed for health and aesthetic reasons. When in leaf, the leaves cover up problems and may present a different shape.
Frozen ground lets us better position equipment. A tree in the middle of your front or back yard may be difficult to reach with our bucket trucks. In spring, summer and fall, we’d have to physically climb such trees. In winter, though, when the ground’s frozen, we can often maneuver closer to the tree and prune it faster and safer.
Clean-up is also faster and easier in winter. This saves money because less debris falls by the wayside as we drag it across a snow-covered lawn. (Less friction)
It’s best to schedule your winter tree pruning now. As the winter progresses, we’re bound to have some days when the weather is just so bad that even we can’t work. Early scheduling better assures you of a time that’s most convenient for you and gives both of us plenty of options should we have to postpone.
As always, I urge you not to attempt to prune your own trees. It’s dangerous in the best weather and even worse in inclement weather. If the tree’s a flowering tree, you may unwittingly remove flower buds. Most spring flowering trees and shrubs bloom on old wood, which means this spring’s flower buds are already on the branches. To the untrained eye, they’re indistinguishable from the new leaf buds. However, our arborists are trained to identify both types of buds.
Trees with broken, hanging, crossed or rubbing branches should be professionally pruned at any time of the year. These are hazardous and should be removed before they can do any damage to people or property.