Many people believe that tree maintenance cannot be done during the winter months. However, winter is a good time for pruning and tree removal services in seasonal climates, especially on Long Island. The frequent temperature changes in our coastal climate make certain winter tree
pruning and tree removal more possible. This helps keep your property safe from fallen trees during winter storms. In fact, some major seasonal pruning work should only be done during the winter, such as pruning fruit trees to maximize fruit production.
Deciduous trees and shrubs are dormant in winter. Leaves fall off, and trees rest, saving energy and nutrients until warmer spring temperatures allow them to grow with more sun and available water.
Dormant pruning in late fall, winter and early spring has several benefits, both for your trees and for your property.
- KEEPS YOUR HOME SAFE
Trees are most susceptible to breaking and falling when the weather is cold, especially in winter ice and snow storms. After the leaves have dropped in fall, it’s easier to see the structure of your trees. For a trained arborist, it’s easier to identify dead or dangerous branches. This lets us determine whether or not pruning is needed to keep your trees safe and looking their best.
- LOOKS BETTER IN SPRING
Late winter is a great time to prune, contain or rejuvenate overgrown shrubs and trees as they’ll be able to recover quickly in spring with new growth. This will also minimize the amount of time you’ll spend looking at a plant that looks like a bunch of sticks after rejuvenation pruning.
- AVOIDS SPREADING DISEASE
Winter pruning can also avoid spreading some serious diseases that are active and spread easily during the spring and summer growing seasons. During winter, the bacteria, fungi, parasites and insects that cause and/or spread disease are either dead or dormant, so diseases are less likely to be transmitted by pruning.
- MORE EFFICIENT
Here on Long Island, the ground often freezes in winter so we can bring in heavy equipment without damaging your landscape, resulting in lower costs, faster work and better outcomes. This is especially true for large pruning jobs and tree removals.
- LESS STRESS ON TREES
Winter pruning doesn’t stimulate new growth that can be killed by cold weather, damaging and disfiguring the tree. This is why fall pruning isn’t generally a good idea. Plus, research shows that pruning before buds break in spring leads to “optimum wound closure”, letting trees heal from pruning cuts before warmer weather brings out destructive insects and pathogens.
- PREVENTS WINTER DAMAGE
Damaged, dead or dying trees can be dangerous in winter, particularly when we get significant amounts of ice or snow. Dormant maintenance makes them safer and can also rejuvenate weaker trees by removing dead and diseased wood.
ADDITIONAL NOTES ON WINTER PRUNING
Dormant pruning will remove the flower buds on early spring-blooming plants. If you want to see the tree or shrub bloom in early spring, it’s best to delay pruning until just after it’s finished flowering.
Remember that not all trees should be pruned or removed in winter. A trained arborist will be able to explain which trees on your Long Island property should be pruned in winter, spring, summer, or fall.