For many homeowners, the cold of winter either inspires a day of snow-related activities or a cozy afternoon in front of the fire with a good book. But before you fully get into what the Minnesota winter has to offer, you should pay attention to your landscape. Have you already done your winter pruning? If you haven’t yet, then now is the time to do so. The premier outdoor living contractor in the area, Backyard Reflections, shares what makes pruning in winter so integral in landscaping.
The Importance of Winter Pruning
- Easier Evaluation of the Tree Structure
Pruning is also done in spring and summer, but performing the task in winter comes with a few distinct advantages. For starters, winter pruning makes it easier for you to evaluate the structure of your trees and the shape of your deciduous plants. That’s because the foliage, which usually gets in the way of your view during the warmer months, has mostly fallen off. Having such an unhampered view can help you decide whether or not pruning is required to keep your trees and plants looking safe and healthy.
- Better-Looking Trees and Shrubs Come Spring
Most plants and trees become dormant in winter, which makes it the best time to do some pruning. Since the trees and plants have halted active growth, they’ll be able to recover more quickly if any of their branches are cut back. Winter pruning also allows your trees and plants to put more energy into producing newer, healthier growth. Instead of dry and dead sticks from last year’s foliage, your landscape gets lush green leaves, flowers, and sturdier stems and branches when the warm spring weather rolls around.
- Effective Disease Prevention
Did you know that dormant trees and plants are less vulnerable to bug infestation and diseases? That’s one of the main reasons pruning is best done in winter. Any “wounds” resulting from cut branches and stems are only exposed for a limited time. This means any serious diseases that actively plague foliage during spring and summer, such as Dutch elm disease, cedar hawthorn rust, and fireblight, won’t spread so quickly and easily. Bugs will also be missing in action because of the winter cold. If you have oak trees in your landscape, this can be especially beneficial, as the beetles that spread oak wilt won’t be there to compromise the trees’ health when you prune their dead branches.
- Reduced Chance For Winter Damage
You don’t want to underestimate the risk that dead and dying trees pose in winter, especially if your area experiences significant snowfall and strong winds. But by removing their expired and diseased branches, you’ll be able to avoid possible winter damage to your home, while ensuring that weaker trees can be rejuvenated. Having trouble identifying which trees to prune? You can always consult a trusted landscape design and maintenance expert like Backyard Reflections.
Evergreen shrubs, such as yew, holly, and boxwood, should be pruned in late winter while they’re still dormant. The same goes for evergreen trees, including spruce and fir. Late winter is also the ideal time to prune shade trees like hornbeam, oak, sweetgum, katsura, and maple. It’s going to be hard to tell whether your trees have dead branches higher up unless you actually try to climb them. This can be a risky task, so it’s more prudent to work with the skilled and experienced team from Backyard Reflections instead.
How Winter Pruning Is Done
There are a couple of things you’ll need to consider as you get started with winter pruning. For example:
- Schedule the task on a dry and mild day. This not only makes pruning easier and more pleasant, but it also prevents the spread of waterborne diseases. What’s more, it ensures that your trees and plants won’t sustain damage from freezing temperatures.
- Any dead and diseased branches caused by snow and ice should be pruned first. To increase access to light and air at the crown of your trees, make sure to remove small and overgrown branches. When cutting off branches, start at the node, or the point where one twig or branch connects with another.
- Avoid pruning your trees and shrubs too early in the winter. That’s because the ‘cuts’ you’ve made on them will dry out if exposed to below-freezing temperatures. The primary goal of winter pruning is to retain developing branches and maintain the structure of the tree. But if the work seems a bit too taxing, there’s no harm in leaving the work to landscape professionals like Backyard Reflections.
The Importance of Pruning During Active Seasons
Dormant pruning can make a positive difference to your landscape, but to ensure your foliage remains healthy throughout the year, the task should also be performed during the growing season. This way:
- You can identify any unforeseen issues that become only visible in spring and summer.
- Other landscaping elements are given a better chance of thriving.
- You can address visible deadwood with species like the honey locust, which is more difficult to single out during winter.
- You can better manage the disease and reduce fungus growth by promoting better air circulation.
- Your landscape can become more visually striking, allowing for absolute enjoyment during the months when you’re more likely to spend time outdoors.
Whether it’s the active or dormant season, the top landscape design expert in Wright County, Backyard Reflections, can manage all your pruning needs. We have our landscape maintenance division ready and available to take care of the job. Utilizing a streamlined process that is as comprehensive as it is low-stress, we can ensure more-than-satisfactory results.
Homeowners in the Annandale and Brainerd Lakes communities know that when it comes to exceptional landscape maintenance, we’re the only name to call. We have, after all, served their landscaping needs since 2000, and we have never let them down. This commitment to quality service is reflected in the starred reviews we’ve earned in Google My Business from delighted customers.
Set Up Your Consultation Today
You can always count on Backyard Reflections to deliver the highest quality landscape maintenance and outdoor living services. With our innovative design solutions, customer-focused approach, and superior workmanship, we can ensure a positive and rewarding experience. Get started on your winter landscape maintenance by calling us today at (320) 274-6336 or at (218) 454-1065. You may also fill out this online form. We take pride in serving homeowners in and around Annandale and Nisswa, MN.
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