Although we have snow and cold outside, winter is the best time of year to schedule winter tree pruning. Wait for a mild, sunny day, grab your pruners, and take a good look at your trees.
Winter Pruning Advice
Have a well-defined purpose in mind when you prune a tree. Think about what you want to do to the tree you're pruning. Most deciduous pruning tasks must promote a natural style, meaning that tall trees are not topped or cut to make them shorter, the natural outline of a tree is maintained, and low-limb trees aren’t being trimmed too harshly.
The goal is to highlight the tree's natural features. If you do it well, it looks like you didn't do anything at all.
Remove undesirable branches. Remove all diseased or dead wood. It doesn’t matter where it is located on the plant. Then, remove all water sprouts and suckers.
Remove rubbing or crossing branches. Begin with the biggest limbs and move steadily to the littlest. There may be instances when you break this rule. For instance, leave a large crossing limb that would destroy your tree if removed.
Thin out the canopy. Beginning in the middle and traveling to the outside, thin the limbs that make up the dense mass of a tree. Your aim is to improve air circulation in the tree limbs and to put emphasis on the structure of the tree. Never remove over one-quarter of a tree in a season since that encourages sucker growth.
Work steadily, taking lots of breaks to take a step back and look. Is the tree even? Know when to end. You don't want to hollow out the middle. You can go back and take more off.
Prune back to a branch. Never leave an open end that comes from topping a tree. Open ends can make dense horizontal growth that wrecks the natural branching pattern, or they can cause disease and death.
Look for insect problems. The eggs of gypsy moths, tussock moths, and tent caterpillars are frequently visible on tree branches in winter. Remove them by hand or prune to control insect damage in the spring. If you need assistance, hire a tree contractor.
We at Syracuse Tree Service want to help you with your tree service needs, our blog is where we provide helpful tips and ideas for the health of your trees.