The sun is riding higher in the sky these days. It’s still cold, but after the arctic weather we have been getting, these 20 degree days feel like a heat wave here in western Wisconsin. Any excuse to get outside is good by me. Like many of my friends and neighbors, spring is highly anticipated in our home. Believe it or not, there are gardening chores that need attention sooner than later. It’s time to get ready for garden season.
Now is the best time for pruning many of your trees and shrubs. The University of Minnesota suggests: The late dormant season is best for most pruning. Pruning in late winter, just before spring growth starts, leaves fresh wounds exposed for only a short length of time before new growth begins the wound sealing process. Another advantage of dormant pruning is that it's easier to make pruning decisions without leaves obscuring plant branch structure. Pruning at the proper time can avoid certain disease and physiological problems. Check out this link to learn more about winter pruning as well as the overall benefits of good pruning practices.
Another fabulous resource on late winter pruning is the Farmer’s Almanac. They say: Pruning deciduous plants in the winter promotes fast regrowth in the spring, as most plants are dormant during the winter. It's also easier to see the shape of deciduous plants in the winter, since their foliage is gone.
Another good source on this subject is the Arbor Day Association. They say: Pruning during dormancy is the most common practice. It results in a vigorous burst of new growth in the spring and should be used if that is the desired effect. It is usually best to wait until the coldest part of winter has passed. Some species, such as maple, walnuts and birches, may “bleed”— when the sap begins to flow. This is not harmful and will cease when the tree leafs out. Check out more of what they have to say here: http://www.arborday.org/trees/tips/pruning.cfm
Now is also the right time to examine the overall structure of your trees. Structural, proactive pruning can prolong the life of your tree and prevent serious property damage. Oso Clean can help you with your shrubs and smaller pruning and hauling projects. If you feel that your trees need a structural pruning, now is a great time to contact a tree service to come in and clean up the crown of your tree. Here in the St. Croix valley, we recommend our friends at JCE Tree Service. Check out their website for contact information. http://www.jcetree.com/default.aspx
Be careful, and do your research on specific varieties before pruning to be sure that they are suited for pruning this time of year to avoid damaging certain cultivars or impeding full spring bloom. If you are not sure where to start, need help with a specific problem, or would just like help deciding what the overall landscape plan for your space is, call Oso Clean for a free, no obligation assessment of your spring landscape cleanup needs. We can help with many of your basic landscape pruning and cleanup projects. We love helping homeowners maximize and renew their outdoor spaces. Now let's get outside!