The gang at CLC Tree Services has been busy all winter. And we aren’t done with the tree surgeon work yet! Our services this past winter weren’t as a result of heavy snowfalls (like last winter) or ravaging ice storms. Those kinds of storms can damage branches or large limbs, and sometimes even knock down whole trees. This year’s milder winter is a little more welcome, especially when it comes time to don our winter gear and head out to a job.
So what have we been up to, you wonder? Well, winter is a great time for tree pruning. There are no leaves to get in the way of your vision, so you can work faster and more efficiently. Plus, you can readily see whether branches are live or dead within a tree.
Winter Tree Pruning
Do you know how to spot a live branch in winter? The key for many trees is to look for its buds. In Canada, many trees set their buds in the autumn before winter sets in. If a branch is barren of buds, there is a good chance it is dead, whether from disease, insect damage or other damages sustained in the summer or early fall. Not all trees grow and behave in the same way though, so before you hack away at your dormant friends, double-check the species and its pattern of growth.
One thing to keep in mind is that for early spring-flowering trees, like magnolias, wisteria, and azaleas, if you prune in the winter, you might be removing that brilliant profusion of blooms you are so looking forward to in the coming spring.
After confirming what your tree species is, whether it sets buds in the autumn or spring, and whether you will be eliminating that floral display you cherish or not, a nice, dry, sunny winter day is the perfect time to prune a tree. One of the perks is that the tree’s sap is not running, so there is less stress and sap loss to the tree. Plus, there is less risk of insect or fungus infestation, as these pests are also dormant. So grab your pruners and loppers and get at it, before that sap starts up and maple syrup season is upon us!
Whenever you prune a tree, always start by removing any dead or damaged limbs. Next, look at the shape of a tree and prune according to its shape. That means cutting out branches that might be hanging down or crossing over other limbs. Eliminate branches that may reduce sufficient light or air flow to the tree as well. Cut out overgrown branches or obviously spindly limbs that deter from the overall tree’s health. Remove suckers and water sprouts as well, as they take away from the overall energy of the tree. They are usually found on the base of the tree, as well as within the interior. Plus, keep your eyes peeled for signs of disease and eliminate problem areas as necessary.
The nice thing is that once you become familiar with the process, it gets easier and faster as you go. Remember that if you are ever uncertain about whether to prune a tree or not, advice is just a phone call away. Or ask us to do it for you! CLC Tree Services are the experts after all and we’re pleased to give you a hand. Happy Pruning!