It’s cold out in our area right now, so jumping outside to do yard work probably isn’t front of mind for most folks, but Winter is actually a great time of year to prune many trees and shrubs.
Pruning has a lot of benefits in generally, like maintaining an attractive shape, removing dead or crossing branches, reducing the risk of pathogens, and encouraging flower and fruit production. The benefits of winter pruning are that while the plants are dormant they are easier to work with and the pruning cuts aren’t at risk of infection by insects, bacteria, fungus and other pathogens.
There are exceptions to the list of trees and shrubs that should be winter-pruned, though, so make sure to check out the link below before your just start in pruning all of your trees and shrubs…The University of Minnesota Extension gives lots of tips on winter pruning as well as provides a list of trees and shrubs that benefit from the practice.
Trees like Maple, Oak, and Elm and shrubs like Dogwood, Ninebark, and Sumac benefit from Winter pruning, yet you DO NOT want to winter-prune spring-blooming trees and shrubs like lilacs, azaleas, and magnolias as you will remove the flower buds and lose your beautiful Spring blooms.
So toss on your hats and gloves and get out there! Happy pruning!