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Timing is everything when it comes to caring for your lawn and landscaping. When pruning your trees, this is especially the case! With a few exceptions, pruning yields the best results when carried out during the tree’s dormant period in the fall and winter.

Dormant Pruning

Pruning should be a regular part of maintenance for both your trees and shrubs. There are many reasons that pruning is important, including:

  • Improve plant structure and appearance

  • Train young plants

  • Revitalize older plants

  • Control plant size

  • Manage flower or fruit production

  • Reduce risk of property damage

Practically speaking, pruning is easier when the tree is dormant. Without leaves obstructing the

view, it is easy to identify which limbs are diseased or damaged and should be removed. When dormant, a tree or shrub does not need to spend energy producing blooms or leaves. It can therefore focus all of its resources towards repairing the cuts that result from pruning. For some trees, for example fruit and elm, pruning during the growing season can welcome harmful insects that carry fungus or disease – so it is especially important to prune in the dormant season.

Pruning now also prevents small problems from becoming large ones. The condition of damaged or diseased limbs can worsen over the winter, or they can fall victim to storm damage. Inspecting during the dormant season (and pruning as needed) can be the stitch in time that saves nine. Your trees and shrubs are some of your yard’s biggest investments. Detailed, professional pruning in the dormant months goes a long way towards ensuring their long-term health!


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