Tree Pruning in Dormant Months

November 27, 2020

Updated: November, 15 2022

While the seasons change and our trees, perennial, ornamental grasses, and gardens become barren, the best time to prune has begun! While nature is dormant and in hibernation, the buds have yet to open. Dormant month tree pruning has many benefits. Pruning perennials during this time also aids their budding in the spring and healthy growth through the summer. This article will teach you what to do during a dry winter. Our expert arborists have gathered several reasons to prune during the dormant months below!

Every property is different, whether commercial or residential, minimalist small yard or a vast acre. One thing’s the same, shrubs, trees, and ornamental grasses may require winter pruning. Also, timing is a crucial factor when it comes to winter pruning. Some trees are better pruned in the dormant season when all the leaves have fallen for better visibility and better judgment on dead or infected branches. Some perennials are better to prune during the late winter to time the budding perfectly.

Benefits of Pruning

Pruning in Dormant Months


Though pruning is an option in the warmer seasons, the most significant benefit to pruning during dormant months is having no tree foliage. Without leaves, arborists have a better visual of what branches need pruning and what areas may be more challenging to navigate. Having no foliage also makes the trees safer for our tree climbers. Safety is our priority in tree care, and we take pride in ensuring our arborists and trees are well taken care of. It is often easier to spot a diseased area on the tree without foliage. Fresh cuts can make the tree more susceptible to insects, bacteria, and fungi during the warmer seasons. Many tree diseases spread faster in the spring and summer. Pruning during the dormant season can help prevent illness and make trees less vulnerable to insects. The dormant season also allows trees the necessary time to heal from the wounds of pruning before new growth begins. Because the trees have an extended time to heal, this allows for more robust growth in the spring and summer.

Plants Covered in Ice

Perennial, Shrubs, and Other Plants

When it comes to perennials and shrubs, if pruning in winter, it’s easy to catch all the detail before spring blossoms. Not only does it get the perennials and shrubs ready for a full bloom during spring, but it promotes better health for the plants. For example, it is shortening the stems that stick out of place and pinching growing shoot tips where you want bushier growth. This process helps the buds blossom into the shape you would like them to extend. Professional perennial installers do this process to create a design with buds, which can be organized in a straight row or color coded. It can also help to spot the dead stems in perennials and shrubs so that the diseased limbs won’t spread to other perennials.

And let’s not forget the plants in the water features. A lot of the plants can get through the cold months with no problem. However, if it happens to be a moist winter, frost is inevitable; the best thing you can do is to tarp the water feature to save the water plants from freezing over. If the water plant freezes, the only option is to remove and replant the dead plants in the early spring. However, many water plants need to be replaced after the winter. As well as some particular plants and shrubs, you should know how to plant certain perennials, shrubs, ornamental grasses, and water plants.

Tree Pruning in Winter

When to Start Winter Pruning

It seems simple to plan pruning during the dormant season. However, there are specific time limits when it comes to winter pruning. You don’t want to start in the fall or early winter; that will harm the trees, shrubs, plants, and perennials. You can personally do it during the dormant months, but you risk damaging the blossoming process of nature. EDI has professionals dedicated to working in harsh conditions, prepared with tools, warm clothes, and protective wear. Nevertheless, EDI only sends out maintenance technicians when conditions are not that heavy. We also make sure to monitor weather patterns to keep our team out of harm’s way.

Winters in Colorado can be harsh on our plants and trees. Our arbor team wants to make sure all of our trees are winter-ready and in the best position to handle extreme winter weather. Snow can damage trees, especially in the spring when trees begin to leaf out. Our arbor team can see which branches may be troublesome and cannot handle enormous amounts of snow and wind. Removing weak branches in the dormant months is essential to make the trees more structurally sound.

DIY Tips for Pruning in Dormant Months

While you may want to leave the winter tree pruning to the experts who have the training to do arbor care, you can do some of it yourself. You can cut down the lower branches; this helps ensure spacing for mid and higher-tier branches and removes critters in the trunk. Tarp your water features and garden. Although it prevents plants from frost, it is essential to monitor the sun’s position for these plants to get some sunlight. Owning some pruning shears to cut off the dead stems also helps with winter pruning. With these pruning shears, you can cut off the spindly shoots that grow in the bottom of shrubs.

We’re Here to Help!

Making sure your investment is properly maintained and cared for is our goal. We strive to protect your landscape assets to the best of our ability to make sure your landscapes can mature beautifully and gracefully. Pruning in the dormant months gives our trees the best chance to thrive in the spring.

There are many ways to keep your plants and trees healthy during these cold months. We head these tips and tricks if you are passionate about yard work and gardening. Yet, it gets freezing around these parts, so why not just give us a call? We have trained our technicians to stay warm, have the right tools, and know how to predict weather patterns for their safety. In addition, we have all kinds of certified professionals who will do the maintenance for you and fill you in on the tips and tricks that EDI uses. Contact us today!

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