Winter pruning can improve the health and beauty of trees and shrubs. In Harmony Sustainable Landscapes

Winter pruning can improve the health and beauty of your trees and shrubs.

This is a great time of year to take a close look at your trees and shrubs. Now that deciduous plants have lost their leaves, you can better see their shape and branches.

Perhaps you have a plant that is growing too densely. There may be branches that are dead or diseased, or that cross or rub. It is a good idea to address those issues. Consider professional pruning.

Pruning is a worthwhile investment for the long-term health of your trees and shrubs. Our ISA Certified Arborists are expert at selective pruning techniques to keep plants in their best possible condition.

We are now scheduling for winter pruning. Contact us for an evaluation and estimate.

Why should you prune?

Pruning helps a young tree develop an attractive and healthy form. Removing selected limbs will establish good branch architecture. This will help the tree stay healthy as it grows. And it will create an aesthetically pleasing shape.

Pruning helps trees and shrubs stay healthy. Removing dead, damaged and diseased branches helps prevent insect and decay organisms from entering the plant.

Removing crossing or rubbing branches, and doing selective thinning, allows air and light to enter the plant. This will result in fewer disease problems.

Why prune in winter?

  • Plants are dormant, so pruning is less stressful.
  • There are no leaves. This makes it easier to see the tree’s shape and branch structure.
  • It is easier to get inside the tree or shrub. The best way to prune is from the inside out.
  • Removing weak or damaged branches will help your tree or shrub make it through severe winter weather.
  • Improving air circulation will help reduce potential problems with fungal diseases.
  • It may be easier to reach trees and shrubs without harming other landscape plantings.

Pruning in winter can, however, encourage vigorous growth. If you are concerned about that, it is best to wait until summer.

Our pruning approach

In addition to removing branches that are crossing, rubbing, dead or diseased, we will open up the tree or shrub to let in more light and air. We will assess the branch structure and prune for long-term health and beauty.

We do not shear or top trees and shrubs because that can harm a tree’s health. If we need to reduce the size of a tree, we will remove individual branches.

If you have a tree or shrub that has been pruned badly in the past, we can work to restore its structure and form. This may take a few years to correct because we need to do it in stages. We will adjust the plant’s shape as it grows.


Chicago Botanic Garden: Pruning in winter.

Davey Tree: Dormant season is an ideal time for pruning.

National Arbor Day Foundation: Prune your trees.

Plant Amnesty has a large number of pruning videos.


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