What You Need to Know About Winter Pruning from Your Trusted Tree Company

November 20, 2019

Your trees are one of the most important parts of your Denver home’s landscaping. They add value to your property, make your home comfortable during the summer, and look beautiful every season. For established trees, it’s normal to think that you don’t have to worry about taking care of them during the winter. After all, their roots are developed. But even those older and established trees need a little TLC from a local tree service during the winter. For most trees, this means a light winter pruning is in order. Here’s what you need to know about the process.

Dormant Trees Are Easier to Shape
When the temperatures drop, most trees, with the exception of evergreens, go dormant. This means they’re not actively growing during the cold winter months. This means it’s the perfect time to start paying attention to the shape of those trees. 

Pruning the limbs allows you to control the look of the tree and set it up for a successful and beautiful growing season in the spring. Since the limbs aren’t actively growing, the cuts have time to heal slowly. The result is more structured growth where it’s needed. 

Keep in mind that not all trees need to be pruned during the winter months. Some can simply be left alone to hibernate until the temperatures increase and the growing season starts up again. Your tree service will be able to help you decide which trees need a little help and which ones can wait until spring.

Pruning Helps Control Diseases
Trees can get sick if you’re not careful and diligent about taking care of them. But luckily, those diseases and funguses rely on warm weather to spread. This means that they, like your trees, go dormant in the winter. They won’t start spreading actively until the temperatures rise.

During the winter months, you may be able to trim away the diseased part of the tree. Once the affected limbs are dealt with, the tree won’t have to worry about the disease or fungus progressing. Ultimately, this makes it easier to keep your established trees healthier for longer. And the longer your trees stay healthy, the longer you’ll be able to enjoy them on your property.

Pruning Reduces Stress for Your Trees
Every tree, no matter what type you plant, has a distinct vascular system that supports its growth, processes oxygen, and transmits water, nutrients, and minerals throughout the tree itself. When the tree gets damaged, that vascular system kicks into overdrive to start repairing the damage as quickly as possible.

Pruning registers with the tree as a type of damage—you’re cutting off a part of the living tree to help keep it healthy. But in winter, the vascular system moves more slowly and takes longer to recognize and respond to the damage. This helps reduce the amount of stress the trees experience after pruning. And by the time the weather warms up, the cuts will have healed completely and the tree won’t realize that anything is out of the ordinary.

Be Prepared for Trees to Look Barren
Tree pruning inherently changes the look of the tree at least slightly. During the spring and summer, you may not notice any changes. After all, there are leaves and new growth to fill in the spaces almost immediately. The same is not true in the winter.

Once the leaves fall off the tree, you’re left with a beautiful network of limbs and branches. When you remove even one of those limbs, you’ll see the change immediately. The more you prune, the more noticeable the changes are and the more likely it is that the tree will look barren.

Don’t panic if it looks like most of the tree’s growth is gone. Believe it or not, the pruning process will leave the tree better prepared to grow quickly in the spring. Before you know it, the tree will look full and more beautiful than it did the year before. The barren look is only temporary.

Pruning Is Key for Tree Safety
We’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: pruning your trees helps increase safety on your property during the winter months. Think about all those long limbs that extend well away from the trunk. The larger they get, the easier they are to damage. Heavy snowfall will put strain on those limbs and could cause them to break.

Not only are falling limbs a problem for your home and property, but they’re also damaging to the tree. Instead of a neat cut that can heal quickly, you’re left with a jagged break where the limb snapped. That break is an ideal place for insects and pests to nest and get nutrients from. 

By spring, you could have a major problem on your hands and your tree could end up needing to be removed. Pruning creates a clean cut that heals quickly. This reduces the risk of more severe damage and helps you keep your trees in good condition for years to come.

Winter Pruning Needs to Be Handled By a Pro 
The most important part of winter tree pruning is hiring an experienced professional to take care of the job. While you should be able to prune and trim smaller plants like shrubs on your own, pruning trees well takes training and experience.

If you make the wrong type of cut or remove too much or too little of the branch, you could end up damaging the tree. Experienced professionals can assess the health and condition of each tree on your property before making a single cut. This allows them to remove only the parts of the tree that need removing. Once they’re done, your tree will be in great shape and ready for the growing season ahead.

Schedule an Appointment Today
If you’re thinking about winter pruning for the trees on your property, don’t wait for the first snowfall. Schedule an appointment today and let our team assess your trees. We’ll make sure your trees can handle everything winter brings without damage. 
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