Here on the Chipps Tree Care blog, we often emphasize the importance of tree pruning with regards to keeping your trees in good health, and looking great. In this post, however, we’re going to talk about why early winter is such a great season for pruning trees. While most yard work, gardening and exterior maintenance jobs are best tackled in the summer, pruning is often best left to November and December for reasons that will soon become clear. Personally taking some time on the weekend to do a bit of light, amateur pruning can be a great source of relaxation that you can feel good about as well. If you need help removing a tree stump or pruning larger branches, you’re better off calling in an arborist, but personally taking on a bit of pruning will help you get in touch with your trees, which is always a good thing in our opinion.
The reason that early winter is such a great season for tree pruning is that the tree is lying dormant, having shed its leaves for the time being. The benefit of this is two-fold: first of all, because the leaves have fallen, you can clearly see the tree branches. Thus, when you go to sever a diseased or unsightly branch, you will have a clean line of sight, allowing you to execute more easily. Secondly, since the tree is dormant, you are not harming it or disturbing it. Flowering trees – including fruit trees – should be trimmed just after all the buds have died, so that you don’t interfere with the development of next year’s buds.
Depending on the size of the branch, you will need to select a particular tool. For smaller branches (mostly what you’d want to be dealing with without the help of a pro), you can use pruning sheers. If you’re going to be taking down any bigger branches, you’ll want to invest in a pair of lopping sheers. Finally, if you wanted to get really serious, you could buy or borrow a pair of long-pole pruning saw. Climbing into the tree to prune is best left to our arborists, who use custom safety equipment and can understand what the tree is going through with a deeper understanding. Make sure that your sheers are very sharp, so that you don’t end up damaging the bark on the main trunk, further exposing the tree to damage. You want to make nice, clean cuts and always disinfect the sheers after so that you don’t end up passing a disease or hostile organism from one tree to another.
To re-iterate: we believe that it is always a great idea to do some work on your trees, to better understand that they are living things with complicated lives. At the same time, if you need serious work done that could endanger the tree if mismanaged, or cause harm to yourself or others without the proper equipment and training, contact us today and hire a skilled arborist to complete the job. This is the best time of year to have serious pruning work done, so take advantage of Chipps Tree Care’s excellent advice and service.