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June, 2019

Shiver me timbers – Winter Pruning

As the last colourful leaves fall for Autumn and we roll into Winter, its usually a good time to check the health of your tree, especially if it is deciduous. Trees become dormant during those cooler months making it the best time to prune. As some species have different dormant lengths compared to others there is a small window of opportunity to make sure the pruning is completed at the right time. Generally once all leaves have fallen the tree is at its optimal time to prune. Also it should be noted that pruning works such as deadwooding and removal of dangerous branches can be carried out at any other time through the year.

Before we get to that do you know why trees lose there leaves?

Many trees shed their leaves as a strategy to survive harsh weather conditions. The shedding of the leaves also helps to conserve the trees energy and water as the cooler weather approaches and settles in. The leaves are actively cut off in a process called abscission as the available nutrients are reabsorbed from their leaves locally into the bud for later use. One of the first things to break down is the Chlorophyll that gives leaves their green colour, hence why they change colour and eventually shed. Once a leaf has fallen a protective layer of cells grow over the exposed area of the branch.

There are of course some trees that don’t lose their leaves at all due to a protective coating on the leaves that can withstand the colder weather conditions and these are know as evergreens.

Picture of man pruning tree

Weight reduction of previously lopped tree

An image of a pruned tree

Tree pruning executed correctly

Man suspended in tree

Uplifting and street clearing

Man up high in a tree


So why do we prune in the winter months?

Preventing Damage and Disease

Deciduous trees and shrubs are generally best pruned in the dormant period of cooler winter months as there will be less damage affected by pruning and shaping. The cuts made during this time will occlude much faster preventing pathogens and insects affecting the tree.

Tree Structure Evaluation

Since there are no leaves on the trees at this time it is much easier to see the structure of a tree. An arborist can assess what needs to be pruned and maintained, as well as any diseased, dead or broken branches that could potentially cause harm in the future.

Strong and Healthy

Pruning helps promote and encourage new growth, keeps the tree to a healthy size, and makes it stronger to sustain harsh weather conditions such as strong winds and storms. It also improves the trees air circulation. Deciduous fruit trees also benefit as it maximises fruit production.

We have regular clients on our database who are contacted biennially, yearly or bi annually for their pruning. If done properly and professionally as we do, then your trees will benefit substantially from the pruning work carried out.

For more information on pruning, head over to our tree pruning page here and don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like an assessment from one of our qualified arborists.

Because ‘pruned’ trees matter!
Until next time
The Assured Tree Care Team