The gang at CLC Tree Services has been busy trimming trees all winter and we aren’t near done yet. Obviously our services this past winter weren’t as a result of heavy snowfalls, like last winter, or ravaging ice storms, that damage branches, large limbs and even knock down whole trees. That being said, we enjoyed the milder winter immensely, especially when it came 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 to prune trees, for starters. 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.
Do you know how to spot a live branch? The key for many trees is to look for its buds, as in Canada most trees set their buds in the autumn before winter even sets in. If a branch is barren of buds, there is a good chance it is dead, either from disease, insect damage or other damages sustained in the summer or early fall before the tree set its buds. That being said, not all trees grow and behave in the same way, so before you hack away at your dormant friends, it doesn’t hurt to 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, or 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 or not 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 step is to look at the shape of a tree and try to prune the tree according to its shape. That means cutting out branches that might be hanging down or crossing over other limbs. You want to eliminate any branches that may be cutting off 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. Suckers or water sprouts can be removed 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, you should always keep your eyes peeled for signs of disease as you go 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 though 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 would be pleased to give you a hand. Happy Pruning!