Pruning must be done with an understanding of tree biology because improper pruning can create lasting damage or shorten the tree’s life. Each cut can potentially change the growth of the tree; therefore, it is important to remember that no branch should be cut without a reason. Some common reasons for pruning include, removal of dead branches to improve form and increase safety, to increase light and air penetration for plants below the tree’s crown, or corrective and preventative measures.
Generally, the best time to prune trees is during the winter months. From November through March, most trees are dormant. This inactivity, along with dropping temperatures, creates ideal pruning conditions for the following reasons:
Without active growth, winter pruning causes less stress on the tree. Wounds will heal better, and spring growth and blooms will be more robust.
Pests and diseases are less active during the dormant season and are less likely to attack fresh pruning cuts during this time.
The absence of leaves allows arborists to assess and access the branches more easily.
Ultimately, pruning trees in the dormant season promotes tree health and future growth.
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