One of the most time-honored questions in all of tree care is, “when is the best time of year for trimming a tree?” Dead branches can be cleared at any time of year, but what about pruning in winter?
In most cases, the dormant season is actually the best time to surgically remove or prune live branches, as it's the ideal time to avoid encounters with insects and diseases of trees. Many insects are attracted to scents or smells that the trees emit from the open pruning cuts. Insects harm trees by feeding and boring into plant tissue.
Several insects also spread diseases along the way. Fortunately, most wood boring insects that cause serious harm to trees and shrubs are dormant or immobile during this time of year. Therefore, pruning in the dormant season will reduce or eliminate the insect attraction to open pruning sites.
And one last benefit, it is far easier to see a tree's overall branch framework without the leaves, making evaluation and access that much easier.
So, are there any pitfalls to dormant pruning when you’re thinking about trimming a tree? There are a few. Sheared plants may be damaged or scorched if pruned during cold weather, and pruning spring flowering shrubbery will take the flower buds along with the pruning cuts – diminishing your spring display.
When in doubt, make it easy on yourself and call T&M Tree Service today to assess your trimming and pruning needs; our experts can determine what can be pruned during the dormant season and what should be done in the spring.
Thanks for reading, we hope this information helps with any seasonal questions you might have, and we wish you a safe and happy winter season!
Happy haunting from all of us at T&M Tree Service!
As the leaves continue to fall, the trees lend to the spookiness of the season with their long twisting branches reaching out above us, but have no fear! We can tame those monstrous trees, clear out any dead or dangerous branches, prune and prepare for winter, and have your foliage ready to look its best when spring finally comes back around again.
Don't let worrisome tree conditions haunt you any longer, give us a call and we'll get you an estimate for the highest quantity work at a shockingly fair price! As winter approaches, please reach out if there's ever anything we can do to help, we're always happy to answer any questions and provide expert advice.
Best wishes for a fun and safe Halloween from our family to yours!
Our trees need care to prepare for colder months.
"While your trees seem to be in a state of hibernation in the winter, exposure to the tough conditions can cause them major stress," says Jim Skiera, Executive Director of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). "Minimize stress by helping your trees through the cold months, a little at a time. If you take care of your trees in the winter, you'll be rewarded in the spring."
ISA recommends the following tips for preparing trees for colder weather:
Rely on mulch. Put composted organic mulch under your tree in the fall or early winter to help retain water and reduce temperature extremes in the soil. A thin layer of mulch will act like a blanket and give the tree's roots a little extra protection.
Give your trees a drink. Winter droughts require watering as much as summer droughts. If temperatures permit, an occasional watering during the winter on young trees can be a lifesaver. But be sure to water when soil and trees are cool but not frozen.
Prevent mechanical injuries. Branch breakage or splitting can be caused by ice and snow accumulation or chewing and rubbing by animals. You may prevent problems with young trees by wrapping their base in a hard, plastic guard or a metal hardware cloth. Wrapping trees with burlap or plastic cloth also can prevent temperature damage. However, it is important to remember to remove the wraps and guards in the spring to prevent damage when the tree begins to grow. Other damage can be caused when plowing or shoveling snow. Be mindful of trees nearby. Damage to limbs and trunks from plow blades or a sharp shovel can be detrimental to trees.
Prune your trees. Fall is a good time to prune your trees. Not only are trees dormant in the colder months, but it is also easier to see a tree's structure when there are no leaves on the branches. "Proper pruning is vital to the health of trees and plants, in part because it helps relieve stress on trees and keeps them growing," says Skiera. "Just be aware that each tree is different, and pruning at the wrong time or the wrong way can injure a tree making it more susceptible."
Plant now. Since autumn is the time of year for colorful, falling leaves, many people do not realize that it is also a prime time to plant new trees. After cooler weather has set in, conditions are perfect for stimulating root growth in new trees. Once roots are established throughout the fall and dormancy of winter, spring showers and summer warmth encourage new top growth. Fall is the optimum time to plant balled and burlapped trees and shrubs. However, all bare root plants should be planted later in the season, when they are completely dormant.
Content provided by the International Society of Arboriculture, a non-profit organization dedicated to tree-care research and education.
Welcome to the T&M Tree Service blog! Here you’ll find articles on general tree information, care and removal, expert advice, and much more. If you need a professional tree removal service in the Chicago suburban area, contact us at 630-303-4641 today!