Winter Pruning, Benefits For You & Your Trees


It’s winter, and we tend to forget about trees and shrubs during the winter months. While winter pruning has similar benefits to pruning any other time of year, it can pack some definite advantages for the health of your trees.

Toronto area residents were hit hard by a pre-Christmas ice storm in 2013. But many residents, including yours truly, noted how well their surviving trees and shrubs flourished the following spring and summer. Despite the civil atrocities and damage, Mother Nature did some beneficial pruning for us.

When a tree’s canopy is removed during the dormant season, new growth from the remaining branches is often increased. Its simple science ; the branches and roots store energy which is now channelled to fewer growth points. With the same amount of energy, root energy in particular, spreading to fewer growth points, new shoots grows more than if the tree had not been pruned.

And despite the cold, there can be some benefits to the chore for you!

With the leaves fallen, branching patterns of trees to be easily seen and reached. Correcting crossing branches and weak crotches helps the tree grow into a safer tree with a better form.

Frozen ground is not as vulnerable to injury. Whether its the footings of your ladder, or heavy equipment like a professional arborist’s bucket lift or chipper, frozen ground can mean stable ground, safety for a somewhat speedier job and reduced damage repair costs (lawns, and fragile flower beads).

I don’t love the sound of a chain saw or noisy equipment on any lazy afternoon, but I’d prefer it on a winter’s day than on a summer’s day. In the winter people tend to be inside more, and the noise of a large scale pruning is less irritating.

Pruning during the winter can minimize the spread of the disease. There are fewer Insects to transfer disease from infected trees to fresh pruning cuts during the winter than there are during the spring and summer. This minimizes the transfer off disease via flesh cuts.

While it may not be the most cozy option (there’s soup and grilled cheese to help that), but compared with pruning during other times, dormant winter pruning can reduce the chances of damaging your overall landscape and possibly save you some money.

Please reach out to me if you’d like to chat. I’d be happy to help, even if you don’t necessarily need the answers to these questions for some time yet. Give me a call at (905)940-3599 or drop me an email at today.



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