Many homeowners give their trees and shrubs attention in the spring, summer, and autumn, but they neglect their dormant landscape during the winter. The common misconception that lawn care and maintenance should stop when the weather turns cold is a major cause of lackluster landscapes.

Winter is actually the perfect season for pruning, the act of trimming excess branches from deciduous plants. When performed in the winter, this garden maintenance task is called dormant pruning. Here’s why winter is the right time of year to prune many types of trees and shrubs.

Promote Healthy Fruit-Bearing Trees

You must take good care of your prized peach, pear, apple, cherry, or orange tree if you hope to increase its yield. After all, unattended growth can lead to poor fruit quality and quantity. Dormant pruning is the best way to keep your fruit-bearing trees looking and performing their best. Trimming branches carefully promotes a balanced tree and allows more oxygen and sunlight to circulate through the foliage once the growing season returns.

Reveal the Tree’s Structure

Spring and summer may be appropriate seasons for pruning in some cases, but trimming branches when they are bare in the winter makes it easier to see the tree’s underlying structure. This reveals precisely where the arborist should make cuts to optimize the health and safety of the plant.

Limit the Spread of Disease

Trees are vulnerable to bacteria, fungi, parasites, and insects. These disease-carrying agents usually go dormant along with the plants they infect. As a result, tree work is unlikely to spread disease when performed in the winter. This is especially true for certain species, including elm and oak, which are susceptible to Dutch elm disease and oak wilt.

Reduce the Stress on Your Trees

Pruning may be good in the long-term, but removing branches causes stress in the short-term. Dormant pruning gives your plants time to heal when they aren’t trying to produce new growth or ward off destructive insects and pathogens during the growing season. By the time spring arrives, the pruning wounds will have healed, and the tree will have access to the moisture, sunlight, and nutrients it needs to support healthy new growth.

Improve the Safety of Your Landscape

Damaged, dead, or diseased branches can be hazardous in the winter when storms bring high winds and heavy snow. Dormant pruning removes these branches before they can compromise the safety of your property. In many cases, taking out damaged parts of a weak tree can help it spring back to life—but not always. When pruning isn’t enough to rejuvenate a sick or dying tree, it may be best to remove it altogether.

At DKI, we have the equipment, training, and know-how to remove damaged, sickly, or hazardous trees from your property. If you’re unsure whether you need pruning or tree removal services, consult a local arborist first. Then, call us at 844-354-2255 or contact us online to schedule tree removal if deemed necessary.