Friday, February 8, 2013



Purple Plum
 Did you know that the winter is the best time to prune most deciduous trees? Here are several good reasons to prune these trees during the winter months.



 1. The foliage is gone and the structure of the branches is clearly visible.

2. The tree is dormant, which will eliminate the bleeding of sap from the fresh cuts. Such as Oak trees which should only be pruned during the winter.  This is due to the fact that freshly cut oaks emit an odor which attracts the beetle that causes oak wilt. This is a serious disease that often times will kill the tree.  The beetles are hibernating during the winter, so this is the best time to prune the Oak.

3. There are several other varieties of trees that are less likely to contract diseases when pruned during the winter months.  
         a. Locust: to prevent stem canker
         b. Apple, Crab Apple, Mountain Ash and Hawthorn to avoid fire blight

 Of course there are always exceptions to winter pruning rules.  for example, trees and shrubs that BLOOM IN EARLY SPRING should be pruned immediately after their blooms fade. For example
       a. chokeberry ( Aronia)
       b. flowering plum or cherry ( Prunus)
       c. june berry ( Amelanchier)
       d. lilac ( Syringa)
       e. deciduous flowering magnolias

And then we get to the basic pruning guidelines ~ The "5 D's" that describe situations where pruning branches may be done at any time:
      a. Dead
      b. Dying
      c. Diseased
      e. Damaged
      f. Deformed

By understanding how, when and why to prune, and by following a few simple principles, you will help to maintain your trees health and also manage continued safety and aesthetics.