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FAQ Answer Detail


Is it OK to prune trees in the winter?

The three main reasons why pruning a tree in the winter is the best time, is the biological reason, physical reason and sensible time reason.

The biological reason is the fact that in the winter trees go dormant. This means the growth cycle, development and physical activity are temporarily stopped. This helps the tree over the winter to conserve energy for the spring. The tree slows down the uptake of sugar to the leaves to produce photosynthesis. Pruning a tree in growing season tends to make the tree bleed sap from the fresh cut. When you prune in the winter the tree heals faster because all the energy can go towards the healing process and not to the process of photosynthesis and other activities going on in the tree during growing season.

There are physical reasons why to prune in the winter as well. When you prune a tree in the growing months, it’s like having an open wound. You are making an entrance for insects, bacterial and fungal problems. In the winter there isn’t as much insect, bacteria or fungus problems that time of the year. Freshly cut trees also emit an odor that attract bugs and insects that can cause diseases like “oak wilt” which often times can kill the tree. There is also a better chance of not spreading diseases like stem canker or fire blight by pruning in the winter.

Some sensible reasons for pruning in the winter is that when the leaves are off you can see the branch structure and determine where to make the best cuts on the tree to correct any weak growth patterns. It also makes it easier to identify dead, damaged, dying and diseased branches. In the winter the ground is frozen, this allows the tree company to get closer to the tree in which could lower the cost of the price to do the work.


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