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Dormant Pruning

April 13, 2017 by Matthew Ward, ISA Certified Arborist PD-1673
Ernesto Perez uses a string line to formally prune a row of hornbeam trees in Devon.

Dormant Pruning: Winter can be an ideal time to prune most trees and shrubs.
There can be advantages to pruning in the winter months:

  • The absence of leaves allows the branching patterns of trees to be easily seen. Crossing or weak branches are easily identified and removed. Heavy ends can be naturally thinned and structural pruning decisions become clearer.
  • There is less risk of spreading disease through pruning cuts. We prune many fruit trees, sycamores, and London plane trees in the winter months for this reason.
  • Flower beds are also dormant during the winter months.

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