February 28, 2014 by Chris Ward, ISA Certified Arborist
From below, everything looks very similar, dead or alive. You can see the outlines of leaf and flower buds, but cannot examine their viability from the ground.
The gardeners among us realize that the winter or dormant season is the best time to prune many ornamentals; top reasons include removing dead and diseased branches, encouraging flower production or simply aesthetics. Often when we recommend pruning large trees in the wintertime, we are met with the question, “How can you tell what’s dead after the leaves fall off?” Hopefully these images will help explain.
From above, as you can see, there is no problem determining a live branch from a dead branch in the wintertime.
This article originally appeared in the Winter 2014 newsletter - John B Ward & Co. Timely Tree Tips