Late-Winter Pruning

Only a few weeks left until pruning time begins. Why not assess your plants now and get a head start with some early pruning tips!

Why Prune?

Pruning may not be fun, but it can actually lengthen the life of your plants. Proper pruning can help mature a plant to its fullest potential. Giving your plant the most ideal situation for growth is also ideal for you because it increases your properties curb appeal. And this time of year is ideal for pruning.

Late-Winter Pruning

Pruning should begin in late-winter to avoid any winter injury to the plant. The ideal time to prune is just before spring growth is set to begin. Depending on your location, late February to early April are the best months for winter pruning.Like all plants most of the life-giving energy is stored in the root system or at the base of the trunk or shrub, pruning the upper portion of a tree or a plant will not take away any energy the tree has stored up.

Fruit Trees

While it is healthy to do some winter pruning to almost all of your trees and plants it is actually very wise to prune any trees or plants that bear fruit. Pruning early helps the fruit bearing plants and trees to produce better shoots when they are ready to blossom in the spring. Strong sturdy shoots produce healthy fruit.


It is also very important for leafy shrubs as well as spruces and firs to be pruned just before spring. These vibrant green plants can often grow wildly during their active season. Thinning out these plants during their dormant season will help control their growth when spring arrives.

How to Prune

The first step in pruning is to come up with a pruning plan. A pruning plan will allow you to make wise cuts instead of and leaving your plants bare. To begin your plan remove all dead parts first, then evaluate if other pruning cuts need to be made for new growth.Once you begin to prune make sharp quick cuts. Jagged cuts are not good on the plant. After removing dead branches or leaves evaluate if there are any tree limbs that rub together, if so, they will also need to be pruned.It is best to make lateral cuts that are about 1/4 inch above a bud.

Pruning Tools

Pruning, looping and hedge shears are all important to have during the pruning process. A good pair of shears can last a long time.Each shear has a specific function as it relates to your plants. For instance, Pruning shears work better for smaller plants, looping shears are good for hard to reach smaller branches and hedge shears are used best on hedge work.Another good tool to have on hand is a saw. A saw can help you cut off larger branches that shears are unable to cut. Depending on the size of the branch, a hand saw or chain saw should do the trick.Keep all tools sharp to make better cuts. Dull tools will create jagged rough cuts. Again, all cuts should be clean.Start preparing to prune today! Not only will it highlight your landscaping design, your plants will thank you!