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Pruning Trees in the Winter: What You Need To Know

Is It Okay To Prune Trees In The Winter? 

Winter is upon us and with it, an age-old question returns to the forefront of tree owners’ minds, “Is it okay to prune trees in the winter?” The simple answer is yes, of course. Not only is it okay, for many trees winter is the best time to prune and remove trees. There are several reasons why this is the case, ranging from less damage to your lawn to a lower chance of spreading disease. However, the type of tree also plays a factor in deciding whether you should be pruning your trees in the winter. Deciduous trees, in particular, benefit greatly from winter pruning.


Do My Trees Need Pruning This Winter?

If you are wondering whether or not your trees should be pruned this winter, here are a few things to watch for:

A late winter pruning would be best for an oak tree.

  • Dead/Dying Branches and Twigs
  • Rubbing or Crossing Branches, especially ones growing toward the inside of the canopy
  • Branches that pose a potential hazard to roadways and the surrounding property
  • Branches that are growing more quickly than the rest of the tree


Why Pruning Trees In Winter Is Best?

Pruning trees in the winter allows you to freely drop-cut branches down to the ground with minimal damage. In other seasons, there might be worries about the grass and other plants below being injured. There is also much less risk of spreading insects and fungi in the winter, as they lay dormant until spring. Lastly, you may find it more convenient to schedule a professional like Ryan Lawn & Tree to handle a pruning job due to the lighter winter schedule.


Midwestern Trees That Are Best Pruned In The Winter

In all of our Midwest locations, it is safe and smart to prune some trees in the winter, including:

  • Birch- Popular Midwestern species include the gray birch, yellow birch, and river birch. Usually smaller in size, birch trees’ bark has long vertical markings and are papery in texture. Trimming birch trees is actually better in early winter, avoiding the excess sap that begins to be produced later in the winter.Keep an eye out for dead and dying branches.
  • Oak- Some popular species in the Midwest include willow oak, white oak, and chestnut oak, among many others. These trees are known for their wide, serrated leaves and their acorns. Unlike birch trees, it is best to wait until late-winter to prune several types of oaks because their dead leaves don’t drop until almost spring.
  • Hickory- Sand hickory, Mockernut hickory, and Bitternut hickory (to name a few) are considered standard hickories located in the Midwest. Hickories are hardwoods, have large nuts, and either rounded or feather-like leaves.
  • Dogwood – Typically identifiable by its scaly, easily-peeled bark, most dogwoods have a rounded leaf and white flowers during the spring.
  • PeeGee Hydrangea – Though not technically a tree, it is still an ideal plant to prune in the winter. Growing up to 25 feet in height, the “tree” can have multiple trunks and white to yellowish flowers.


Get Help Pruning Your Trees This Winter

Not only is it safe to prune your trees in the winter, but it is also recommended for several common trees in the Midwest. Whether you are worried about ruining your lawn or want to find timely tree care help, getting it done this winter is the smart thing to do. Birches, oaks, and hickories are just a few examples of deciduous trees you need to prune this winter,  among others. If you need help with these or other trees this winter, Ryan Lawn & Tree is personable, professional and ready to work on your schedule to get your trees in shape for the coming spring. Please find your closest location and give us a call or click to receive a Free Estimate today.

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