Winter Pruning
Shape Up for the New Year with Jimmy's Tree Service

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Winter is the optimal time to schedule the fertilizing & pruning of your semi-dormant hardwood trees. We offer professional advice, expert tree care, and the right equipment to serve you.

Winter Pruning

Winter season is the optimal time to schedule the pruning of your semi dormant hardwood trees.
Pruning in late winter when many trees and shrubs are dormant invigorates the plants for abundant growth in spring and the wounds are exposed for a limited amount of time before the growing cycle begins. When the leaves have dropped the areas that need pruning are also more obvious.

When to call in a professional?

If you can’t reach a limb from the ground with a pole pruner, it’s time to call a pro. This also applies if the limbs are heavier than you can manage, or for working near power lines.
We offer professional advice, expert tree care and the right equipment to service your trees. A properly pruned tree is a work of art!

Why Prune?

Pruning to remove dead and diseased wood or to thin out the center branches will also help keep a tree healthy. Maintaining tree shape, size reduction and improved appearance are also beneficial.

When is The Best Time of Year to Prune?

Dr. Ed Gilman, Professor, University of Florida writes “Flowering can be prevented or enhanced by pruning at the appropriate time. To retain the most flowers on landscape trees that bloom on current season’s growth such as the crape-myrtle ( Lagerstroemia spp. ) or linden ( Tilia spp. ) these trees are pruned in winter prior to leaf emergence, or in the summer just after bloom. Plants that bloom on last season’s wood, such as Prunus, should be pruned just after bloom in order to preserve the flower display. Fruit trees can be pruned during the dormant season to enhance structure and distribute fruiting wood. They are pruned after bloom to thin fruit.”

“Growth is maximized and defects are easier to see on deciduous trees if live branch pruning is done just before growth resumes in early spring. Pruning when trees are dormant can minimize the risk of pest problems associated with wounding and allow trees to take advantage of the full growing season to begin closing and compartmentalizing wounds.” (Gilman, 2015)

An example of a linden is the American linden or “basswood”. Examples of Prunus are cherry laurel, Taiwan cherry and Chicasaw Plum. Deciduous trees are trees that shed leaves annually.

When is Late Winter?

The Vero Beach (Central Florida) area is in the mid-South zone. February is considered to be late winter for the mid-South landscape and the trees are still dormant at this time. Pruning should be performed before new spring growth begins, but after the threat of severe cold weather has passed.

Trees Best Pruned in Dormant Seasons include:

Oaks
Mahogany
Black Olive

Hickory
Other large shade trees

What Not to Prune in Late Winter

Not all trees should be cut back in winter. Stressed trees should not be pruned during the winter season. Some tree pathogens, such as oak wilt fungus, may be spread if pruning wounds are made when the pathogen vectors are active. Susceptible trees should not be pruned during active transmission periods.
Also, “Certain species of trees such as maples (Acer spp.) and birches (Betula spp.) drip sap when pruned in late winter/early spring.” (Gilman, 2015) Pruning won’t hurt the trees but it will certainly be less messy if you wait until summer.

Trees that drip sap when pruned in late winter/early spring include:

Avocado
Dogwood
Elm
Walnut

Magnolia
Maple
Poplar
Silk-oak

Trees Which Can Be Pruned at Anytime:

Most Evergreens
Holly
Podocarpus
Jasmine

Ligustrum
Wax Myrtle
Boxwood

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