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Winter Pruning: When should you do it?

Never prune too early in the winter, as incisions can dry out if the temperature drops well below freezing.

First, you should note that not all trees or shrubs benefit from pruning, or should be pruned at this time of year, so before you grab your pruners or pole saw, there are a few helpful tips to know.

The trees and shrubs we prune in late winter—if they need it—are deciduous plants that drop their leaves in fall, and, specifically, those that do not flower in early spring. Any that bud or flower in late spring and summer, are good candidates for winter pruning.

We avoid winter pruning of spring-flowering plants because they already have their buds (that will be become blooms) and to trim them away means missing out on a flowering season.

But, most trees and shrubs are suitable for late winter pruning including apple trees, butterfly bush, tulip trees, and viburnum.