Winter Pruning of Trees and Shrubs

Just like the rest of us, our trees are recuperating from the recent snowstorm that swept through the South. Luckily for landscapers, snow and ice form natural insulation around trunks and branches, keeping the more extreme temperatures from jeopardizing the health of our trees and shrubs. As the snows thaw, they regulate the temperature of plants, preventing winter diseases like sunscald from affecting the bark of our ornamentals. As the landscape returns to normal, it’s time to dig into our winter maintenance checklists. Mid winter is ideal for winter pruning of trees and shrubs.

Winter Pruning

tree pruning heartLandscapers should prune trees and shrubs during the dormant period to limit plant injury and promote spring growth. Pruning reduces infestations of pests and disease, shapes trees for spring revitalization, and thins clustered branches, redirecting vital nutrients to newer, healthier sprigs. The bare branches give gardeners a clear view of their trees, allowing them to see which branches need trimming and shaping. You should prune most deciduous trees, ornamental trees, and shrubs between late January and early February. Trees that produce large quantities of sap should be pruned in autumn or early spring.

The Basics of Pruning Trees

Assess which trees on your property have overfull canopies, signs of disease and winter damage, or grow too close to your driveway or home.

  • Begin with sharp, heavy pruning shears
  • Research pruning suggestions for ornamental trees to prevent pruning disasters
  • Plan which branches you’re going to prune before you begin
  • Cut at an angle that mimics the natural growth of each branch
  • Step back often to reassess the shape and bulk of your tree

After you prune established trees, decide which areas of your landscape need new plants. Late winter is the perfect time to plan spring orchards, gardens, and landscapes. Call 3am Growers for expert advice on pruning and planting your Alabama trees.