Winter can be the ideal season to prune your trees and shrubs. All the leaves on the trees have fallen, allowing you to remove damaged or unwanted limbs with relative ease. The trick, however, is knowing which branches to cut, and why.
Always remove dead, damaged, or diseased branches as soon as possible (regardless of the current season). Pruning sick or injured limbs prevents insects and harmful organisms from entering the tree. Eliminate crossing branches to prevent abrasion damage. If your trees have grown a dense canopy, it is best to thin the canopy to increase the flow of air and sunlight to help prevent disease and promote growth. Well-pruned trees produce additional flowers and fruit. Prudent pruning helps trees and shrubs defend against disease and pests, so they will require less maintenance in the future.
Many times it is wise to prune healthy branches, simply because their location can be a safety hazard to humans and animals. Prune low hanging branches, or any limbs that overhang a sidewalk or driveway; you don’t want heavy branches falling onto areas of high-traffic during harsh storms or winds.
Sometimes, erratic or unusual branches grow in locations that change the growth habits of adjacent limbs, which results in a convoluted, misshaped tree. Pruning these devious branches as early as possible can help promote a more natural shape.
For more information on why (and how) to properly prune your trees, visit This Old House.
For larger branches, or branches that are too high to reach with a pole saw, it is recommended that you enlist the services of an experienced professional. The experts at Ryan Lawn and Tree Care Services can help you remove any problematic branches and limbs. Visit our website for a free tree care estimate today!
One final note: Never try to prune any branches near power lines without professional help.