As the temperatures start to drop and the leaves begin to fall, you may be thinking that it’s time to put your pruning tools away until spring. But did you know that winter is actually one of the best times to prune most trees, even in Boulder, Colorado? Pruning in the winter has a number of benefits, including less stress on the tree, less chance of disease, and better healing. Here are some tips on how to prune trees in the middle of winter.
Start With the Basics
Before you get out the pruning shears, it’s important to understand the basics of tree pruning. First, always sterilize your tools before and after use to prevent the spread of disease. Second, make sure you’re wearing protective gear, including gloves, goggles, and a long-sleeved shirt. Third, be aware of your surroundings and make sure there are no power lines or other hazards near your work area.
Know Which Trees to Prune
While most trees can be pruned in the winter, there are some exceptions. Deciduous trees such as ash, maple, and oak should not be pruned during this time because they are susceptible to disease. Conifers such as pine and spruce can also be sensitive to winter pruning. If you’re not sure whether or not a particular tree should be pruned in the winter, ask a local nursery or arborist.
Use the Right Tools
When pruning trees in the winter, it’s important to use sharp tools so that you can make clean cuts. This will help prevent disease and promote healing.
Make Clean Cuts
When making cuts, always use sharp pruning shears and make clean, angled cuts at a 45-degree angle about 1/4 inch above a bud or branch junction. Avoid leaving stubs, as these can impede new growth or provide entry points for disease.
Prune When the Weather Is Right
The best time for pruning is on a sunny day when temperatures are above freezing. This will help prevent frost damage and ensure that your cuts heal quickly. Avoid pruning on windy days, as this can cause broken branches and damage to your trees. Be careful not to over-prune.
Remove Damaged Branches Only
When pruning trees in the winter, it’s important to remove only dead, dying, or diseased branches. Don’t go overboard with the pruning— less is definitely more when it comes to tree healthcare!
Get Those Trees Ready for Winter
Pruning trees in the middle of winter may seem counterintuitive, but it actually has a number of benefits for both you and your trees! Reach out to us at Roots Up Tree Company so that you can keep your trees healthy and happy all year long in Boulder.