One of the pleasant things about winter are the fond memories of walking through a snowy landscape in the Arnold Arboretum or the Tower Hill Botanical Garden and looking at the winterberry hollies bursting with colorful fruits and the paperbark maples with their cinnamon peeling bark.
When winter comes around, many people are not giving their trees and shrubs much thought. However, the truth is that winter is the optimal time to prune woody plants. Here’s why:
- Winter pruning is the least stressful season for pruning. Pruning a plant creates small wounds in a plant that take time to heal over. During the growing season, plants are using their energy to make new leaves, flowers, and stems. During the winter, plants go dormant which gives them the ability to heal more quickly with extra energy reserves.
- Pruning when the leaves have dropped from a tree or shrub makes it easier to view the best places to prune to maintain structural integrity. It also makes it easier to spot vulnerable areas such as damaged or diseased branches that might be disguised when the plant is covered in leaves and flowers.
- When you make pruning cuts in winter, pests and diseases are less active and will be less likely to attack open wounds.
- With the ground being frozen, there is less risk of equipment or even footsteps causing soil compaction because the ground is significantly firmer. Also, clearing the debris left from pruning is easier.
Plant science shows us that winter pruning is the ideal time to prune your trees and shrubs. ZEN Associates offers winter pruning services from our seasoned team of horticulturists and specialty pruning crews. Elevate your garden today by improving your trees and shrubs by scheduling winter pruning