Do you have an overgrown bush that forces you to walk around your sidewalk? Or other overgrown limbs of plants to avoid? Many people don’t think about their outdoor plants until springtime, but many trees and shrubs should be pruned during the winter before new growth begins. February and March are the best months of the entire year to prune fruit, flowering, and shade trees. Pruning in late winter or very early spring keeps you from inadvertently cutting off growing branches.
Forsythia, quince, spirea and other early spring flowering shrubs should be pruned a little later, after they have finished flowering. You can even cut a few branches early and force them into early bloom in warm water.
Why is Winter Pruning Important?
To train the plant
To maintain plant health
To improve the quality of flowers, fruit, foliage or stem
To restrict growth
To start newer plants of on the right track
General Pruning Tips
The rules of pruning vary with different plants. But here are a few basic guidelines:
1. First remove all dead, broken, diseased or problem limbs by cutting them at the point of origin or back to a strong lateral branch (a branch originating from the main trunk).
2. Next make training cuts. By cutting back lateral branches, you help to train the tree or shrub to maintain its natural shape.
3. Eliminate weak or narrow crotches and if there are two main leaders, eliminate the weaker of the two. Also eliminate branches that cross over each other as rubbing can cause damage and invite disease.
4. Remove water sprouts (the sprouts that grow next to the trunk).
5. Take a step back and assess your work. If you’ve removed a large amount of wood, further pruning may have to be delayed until next year.
For more information, call our office at (913) 451-4664 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can help you schedule a meeting with our arborist.