There are many benefits to pruning your trees during the winter!
Throughout the spring, summer and fall, a tree is actively using its resources and stored energy for leaf, flower and seed production. By trimming (pruning) in the winter when trees are dormant and energy is stored, there is minimal impact to the growth cycle. As a result, trees are less vulnerable to stresses such as drought, disease, and pests that are also dormant in the winter. Best of all, in the Minneapolis, St. Paul area, we have a good 4 – 5 months of winter to prune trees!
No Insects or Disease in the Winter
Some trees, such as oaks and elms should only pruned in the winter unless there is an urgent reason to do so. As an example, beetles attracted to the sap of a fresh cut spread Oak Wilt. Rainbow Treecare follows the University of Minnesota Extension’s guidelines for this and other pruning practices regarding insect and disease management. The long term health of your trees is our primary consideration when we prune, which is why we follow the most up to date industry standards on pruning.
Winter Pruning Means Less Impact to Your Landscape
Another reason to prune in the winter is that there is minimal impact to your landscape. Foot traffic, branch removal, and equipment can all affect sensitive plantings. Pruning during the winter helps reduce the impact to your property by allowing the frozen ground and snow cover to protect your turf and perennials.
Tree Structure is More Visible in the Winter
Lastly, urban trees provide aesthetic beauty and increase your property value. Pruning during the winter allows the arborist to spot tree defects more easily, as well as view the tree’s entire structure without the obstruction of leaves. Managing tree defects and maintaining proper structure are imperative to both tree health and optimal visual impact.
Should I have my trees pruned this winter?
Pruning (also called trimming) is essential maintenance for trees of all ages, and is recommended every 2-5 years depending on tree type. And, for the reasons above, winter is the best time for pruning to be done. If you haven’t had your trees evaluated recently, especially fast-growing trees like maples and poplars, schedule an appointment today with one of our ISA Certified Arborists!