You may not be thinking about pruning yet as a lot of our plants are still barren from the winter. However, now is the best time to get started. Learn what and how with these helpful tips:
Best Practices: Why Now is the Time to Prune
- Ensures proper branching structure for the urban environment.
- Open branching structure encourages strong branch unions and disease resistance
- Winter and early spring allows for unhindered access and line of sight for making pruning decisions
- Energy is stored in the roots during winter. Pruning late winter to early spring allows for that energy to be allocated where it’s most effective, once growth starts, while ensuring as little as possible gets “pruned off” , as would happen when pruning in summer.
Step by Step Guide
- Prune mid February to mid April
- Select the strongest central trunk all the way to the top of the tree. Prune back all others competing with the top.
- Remove any dead, diseased or damaged branches first.
- Select evenly spaced branches that will be staying. Prune away any branches crossing, interfering, competing with the ones that will be staying.
- Stand back for a holistic view and assess canopy balance. Prune to improve.
- Canopy to open trunk ratio should be around ⅓ open trunk to ⅔ canopy of the total tree height
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