Cold Weather Maintenance For Trees (Part 2)

399684_9912Issue: Cold stress hinders late season growth
Solution: Avoid pruning until after the tree is in Fall dormancy.

Pruning earlier than needed can hinder late season growth. Traditionally, some of the best time to prune your trees is when they go into dormancy. The reason for this is that pruning at this time causes less stress on your trees and can help prevent cracking.

Here is what to keep in mind while pruning your trees:

  • Remove weak and dead limbs first. Pruning limbs that appear dead or limbs with leaves that look distressed is a must for healthy trees.
  • Make pruning cuts just outside the branch collar and nearly flush to the trunk of the tree. This technique provides viable growing branch bark that will enable wound healing.
  • Leave most functional limbs on newly planted trees. Pruning for form should start in the second year or third year of the tree’s life.
  • Prune forked trunks to one dominate trunk. Pruning forked trunks reduce multiple problems including poor form, excessive pruning and health problems.
  • Prune all permanent branches up to a desirable first branch height (generally 8 feet at maturity). Remember that urban and yard trees need to have a raised base for access and yard work.
  • After several years of a maturing tree, prune branches trying to space 12 to 18 inches apart. Do not prune for the first few years but wait for a period of time where the tree is growing rapidly.

Now, if you do not feel comfortable or simply don’t have the proper tools to do any tree maintenance, we are more than happy to do any of this work for you. Also, if you have multiple trees to remove or just don’t have the time to do it, we are here for you. We can handle all of your tree maintenance needs and services in the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Richland, Pasco) and even West Richland. We look forward to being your preferred tree maintenance provider.