Jeff often says that Autumn and Winter are the best time to prune trees. Many people don't understand why that is, so I sat down with Jeff to make him answer some questions about seasonal pruning.
When is the best time to prune trees and shrubs?
Most pruning can be done any time of the year, but winter is the ideal time to prune your trees and shrubs.
Why is that?
With the absence of leaves, the structure of the tree can more easily be seen, allowing us to quickly tell where to make the pruning cuts. An arborist can also readily identify tree defects such as dead and broken limbs, cracks, crossing/rubbing branches, etc. Also, pathogens or insects are rarely an issue with pruning cuts. If there is any concern of infection however, pruning during winter can assure that an infection does not occur.
How can you accurately prune a tree when you can’t see any leaves?
We can tell the difference between live and dead limbs when there are no leaves. An arborist can tell this by the presence or absence of buds on the limbs as well as coloration. Most of the dead wood is very obvious due to the difference in color and texture of the bark.
Will your equipment destroy my grass or other plants?
In sensitive locations that may require access with equipment, we can often gain access more easily when the ground is frozen. There is also reduced concern for damage to annual and perennial plantings. Most often, however, our crews consist of one or more professional climbers that are able to perform all aerial work without the need for trucks or other heavy equipment that might otherwise damage the lawn.
What should I do if I have trees that need to be removed?
Winter removals should be scheduled early to make sure the site is prepped for early spring replanting. TreeMasters will help you find the perfect tree to fit your needs.
I hope that this post answered a lot of your questions! If you still have questions about YOUR specific trees, please call the office and we'll help you make a plan designed for your landscape.
Jeff Ling is a Registered Consulting Arborist and Co-Founder of TreeMasters, Inc., a full service arbor-care company, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. TreeMasters provides tree owners with scientific tree management services throughout Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio.