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With all of the snow lately and broken tree branches, I regret not having Sprigs & Twigs prune my trees earlier. Can pruning be done in the winter or do I need to wait until spring? Chris

Answer

With all of the snow lately and broken tree branches, I regret not having Sprigs & Twigs prune my trees earlier. Can pruning be done in the winter or do I need to wait until spring? Chris Although most trees can be pruned any time of year, the best time to prune is now when trees are dormant (especially Apple and Pear trees).

There are lots of good reasons to prune now.

1) Pruning of deadwood and overhanging branches needs to be done as soon as possible, so you don't have issues with downed service lines to your house or damage to your roof. Selective pruning can help guard against the tree being overloaded by a wet snow and totally failing.

2) In the winter, the chance of bacterial and fungal diseases or insect damage is much lower and it's easier for a tree to recover from pruning.

3) When a tree's leaves are gone, it is easier for the arborist to see flaws, rubbing branches, overall growth patterns and the tree's structure.

4) When the ground is frozen, bucket trucks and equipment access is much easier.

5) This is the perfect time for Apple and Pear tree pruning because the chilling requirements for these trees have been met. The trees have been at a temperature below 45 degrees for at least a month so that they have sufficiently transferred their energy stores down into their roots; basically these trees need to be fully dormant for pruning.

When it comes to pruning, trimming or bracing, only use a company with an arborist licensed by CT DEEP - it's Connecticut State law. There are good reasons for it. Licensed arborists undergo extensive training and must pass a rigorous test - they know what they are doing. Ask to see their license and make sure it's issued by CT DEEP. There is a great deal of damage being done by people who buy a chain saw and claim to be knowledgeable but aren't. Trees damaged by incorrect pruning may never recover structurally and often die many years before their time. Sprigs & Twigs has two licensed arborists, a fully trained staff and top quality equipment. Call us for any of your tree needs - pruning, removals, fertilization, cabling and bracing and stump grinding.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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