Many people see the immediate benefits of trimming and pruning their trees and shrubs during the growing season. But, this type of pruning encourages new growth, which is not typically desired going into a cold St. Louis winter.
However, there are two good reasons to prune in the winter.
1. To remove dead wood.
Your plants will LOVE you for taking the dead wood out. This will give them more space to grow and ward off pests and diseases. They’ll also look better and healthier!
Late fall and early spring, before the deciduous trees and shrubs lose their leaves is a great time to see the dead wood and remove it with ease. If you’ve waited a bit longer, it may be harder to tell what is dead. Some keys to look for are:
- No leaves
- Buds are not thriving/dead
- Wood color is different than the rest
- The limb is brittle and easily breaks off
2. Remove crossing or rubbing branches.
Sometimes trees will have branches that grow towards each other and end up crossing and even rubbing. This can be damaging to the plant because they produce wounds and decay. Remove the limb that makes sense by stepping back and viewing the plant as a whole. Take off the limb that won’t affect the shape of the tree, or is not in line to rub against another branch in the future.
These 2 good reasons to prune in the winter are mostly for rejuvenation purposes instead of making the shrubs smaller like during the growth season. Don’t pass the opportunity to help your trees and shrubs thrive next season! If you need help, just ask your experts at Dowco.