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The Benefits of Pruning: Winter Edition

Posted on Monday, December 5, 2016

Yes, we work through the winter! Does that surprise you? There are actually a few good reasons to schedule your tree services for the dormant season!

First: what is dormancy? For a tree, it means that it is no longer actively growing. Sometimes there is a little bit of activity, but in general, when temperatures are cold enough to damage the leaves, the tree stops providing them with clorophyll (one of the key reactants in photosynthesis) and slowly cuts them off from the branch or twig to which they are attached. 

Trees' leaves are productive organs. If too many leaves are removed during summer pruning, the tree may not be able to store enough reserves to make it through the winter and emerge into the spring with new, healthy growth and strong defences. When we prune during the dormant season we are not removing productive leaves, and when the spring comes, the burst of new growth can help to speed the healing of pruning wounds. Another good reason to prune during the dormant season is that disease-causing fungi and bacteria are less likely to be active and spreading. 

From a homeowner's point of view, there is another reason why you may want to consider having your tree services performed in the winter. We make every effort to minimize the damage that dragging brush has on grass, but there usually is a little bit of disturbance when heavy wood or brush is being moved. Having tree services performed when the ground is frozen can minimize dents and scrapes in your lawn. 

You may wonder how we can work with trees when they are leafless, but in some ways the bare branches actually make our job a little bit easier. For instance, it is easier to view the structure of a tree's branches when there are no leaves, and it is also easier to access the tree without having the interior of the tree obstructed.


How can we tell which branches are living and which ones are dead? There are a few ways, but that sounds like a topic for another winter blog!

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Learn more about tree dormancy here or here