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Pruning your trees and shrubs in winter: A guide

Pruning your trees and shrubs regularly is an important way to keep them healthy and thriving. While Manitoba’s winters don’t feel like an ideal time to be outside, it can be a great time to perform this important tree maintenance.

What is pruning?

Pruning is the selective trimming of certain areas of a tree or plant. There are many reasons you may want to perform this on your trees or shrubs, however it’s a good idea to leave this to a certified arborist so as not to cause any damage, and to maximize the benefits of pruning. At Kildonan Tree Service, we have been providing tree care since 1974, and offer professional pruning services.

Why prune a tree or shrub?

While pruning your trees comes with many benefits, the most important one is a happier, healthier tree, which in turn leads to better growth. Removing dead branches and leaves from your trees also removes the risk of damaging your property – or yourself and others. Sometimes, the reason for pruning is as simple as improving aesthetics by manipulating the shape and growth of your tree’s branches.

Benefits of winter pruning

With the cold weather coming down hard, it can be easy to forget about those baron treats on your property. However, with leaves having long-fallen, bare branches are far easier to see properly than those full of foliage. Taking advantage of this can help to better pinpoint and accurately cut parts of the tree that need to be pruned.

Unless you’re an entomologist and love working with bugs, the lack of insects can make for a more pleasant experience if you’re not equipped to deal with them. Plus, having no pests around avoids the potential problem of having your newly pruned trees become infested. On the same note, the cold weather can prevent the spread of diseases between trees, as the bacteria is often dead or dormant.

Despite these benefits, it’s important to ensure that you’re not pruning a plant or tree that would not benefit from it in the winter. If you’re unsure, give Kildonan Tree Service a call! Our certified arborists can give you the right plan depending on your trees.

Tips for pruning in the winter

While it’s a good idea to leave pruning to the professionals (especially if it’s a big job), if you’re eager to trim off a few branches, we have a couple of tips to ensure you’re doing so safely.

It’s important to know when your trees flower; if it’s in mid-to-late summer, these can safely be pruned in late winter. Additionally, you should ensure that winter pruning is done when the temperature hasn’t dropped too low yet, or if there is a stint of warm weather ahead. Freezing temperatures can damage the exposed branches.

Shouldn’t pruning be an all-year-round task?

Yes! While there are benefits to winter pruning, the best time to prune your plants and trees is throughout the year. This will allow you to maintain your tree more easily, rather than trying to tackle a larger project once or twice in a year.

Give us a call at (204)233-9337 or request a quote online – our professional arborists look forward to helping you practice great tree care.