As winter approaches, it is time to wave goodbye to lawn maintenance since leaves are stripped from trees by the frosty winds. For most property owners, winter is the time to put away gardening tools. However, contrary to popular belief, you should not ignore trees during winter. While there is no right time to prune trees, most experts recommend doing it in winter for the following reasons.
Less Stress on Trees
All living things experience stress under severe conditions, and trees are no exception. Therefore, the timing of your pruning determines the level of stress you subject trees to. For instance, some trees, such as maple and birch, bleed a lot of sap when pruned, which should be replenished for healthy growth. Winter pruning does not force trees to work extra hard to protect new growth from frigid weather conditions. Notably, the cold weather delays new growth and gives trees adequate time to heal correctly before sprouting new buds from pruned sections.
Better Disease Identification
Inspecting a tree for disease and pests can be tricky with dense leaves, flowers and branches. It means that an arborist must scrutinise each branch individually, which can take a bit of time. In fact, it is easy to miss an infected branch when inspecting a tree with full leaves and branches. However, winter pruning is quite different because it is easier to identify issues once a tree has lost much of its leafy cover. Most importantly, a bare tree improves accessibility to different parts and allows an arborist to examine all branches and identify potential signs of disease or pest infestation. Besides, it is easier to address pest infestation in frigid weather because of hibernation tendencies.
Why are trees a safety concern if they become dormant and lose their leaves during winter? Winter seasons are characteristically stormy and windy, and trees growing close to a house or overhead cables are considered a safety hazard. For instance, if there is a tree with overgrown branches next to your roof, strong winter winds can easily snap the branches and damage your property or cause injuries. It is attributed to the fact that extremely low winter temperatures freeze tree branches, making them brittle. Thus, pruning the trees on your property at the onset of winter enhances safety since it eliminates dangerous weak and brittle branches. Additionally, winter pruning prevents snow from collecting, settling and weighing down tree branches.
Contact a tree care service to learn more.