We like trees. We hug them, lie under them and sometimes build tiny houses all up in them. We take wedding photos against them and our dogs love watering them. We all have a mutual interest in keeping trees and shrubs thriving, and while they don’t look so good now — all barren and leafless, naked and insecure — it’s the BEST TIME to take up trimmers and treat them right.
Trimming is vital to protecting your property.
- It keeps loved ones safe from dead branches about to fall.
- It encourages flowers and fruit production.
- It triggers the tree to grow larger.
- It helps prevent disease by allowing better airflow.
- It shapes the tree and makes your whole yard look nicer.
Late winter is the best time to prune or trim, when trees and shrubs are dormant. Not only do their wounds heal faster, but there’s less risk of disease or pest infestation, less sap flowing and less foliage in your face so you can see what you’re doing.
Avoid pruning a young or newly planted tree, which needs as many leaves as possible to produce its food for good root growth. Remove only dead, broken or injured branches on the youngsters.
So what do you pruning off a tree?
- Limbs that sag or grow close to the ground
- Branches that form an acute angle with the trunk.
- Limbs that are dead, diseased, or broken
- Branches that grow too close to another
- Branches that cross or rub against others
- Limbs that compete with the tree’s central leader
Make trimming your property’s trees and shrubs an annual comingling with nature. Invite some friends, read some Thoreau and get cutting and clipping. After a couple years, you’ll see how your healthy backyard is through maximum foliage and flowering.