Tree trimming when trees and shrubs are dormant is a common practice, and winter is a great time to do it. Once dormancy arrives, usually in November or December in Utah, you’re safe.
Tree trimming during this period leads to an energetic display of new growth come spring, which is what most homeowners desire.
But ideally, wait until the coldest of winter weather has passed. Some trees in Utah, like birches and maples, tend to bleed when sap starts to flow, and tree trimming during the chilliest of days can freeze the sap. Sap, frozen or not, isn’t a hazard, but many homeowners prefer to let the sap run its course.
Avoid trimming trees in autumn also, when decay fungi are on a rampage. These cause tree wounds to heal slower.
Tree Trimming Dead Wood
If you have dead wood or branches that are dangerously close to a living space, you can prune and trim these anytime. However, most homeowners rely on an expert arborist in these instances.
If you can tell a branch is dangerous, you don’t want to take a risk. Having an arborist inspect trees in the autumn or winter, right before they face heavy snow on branches or strong winds, keeps you and your family safe.
Light trimming can also be done year-round, especially with smaller trees and shrubs that you want shaped and contained. Avoid cutting any branches more than one-quarter-inch thick until the worst of winter has passed.
If you have a tree that tends to bleed sap profusely, you might want to take advantage of the cold January days and let the temperature slow down the bleed a bit. Sap control is a personal decision, and no right or wrong choice really exists.
Get Better Flowers
Tree trimming to get more gorgeous flowers? Trim spring-blooming trees and shrubs right after their flowers fade. In winter, it’s often best to wait through the spring and start tackling that post-flowering trimming after.
Trees and bushes that flower in summer are ideal for winter and early spring trimming. If you can’t recall when a tree or shrub flowered last year, ask your local arborist what the schedule is for your particular plant.
Reserve summer pruning for slowing down tree growth, dwarfing tree development, and for general cleanup. Summer tree trimming is best right after the season’s growth is finished.
When you minimize leaf surface, you minimize the food that’s processed and directed to the roots. Malformed limbs are often easiest to see in either summer or winter, so start keeping an eye out for corrective tree-trimming candidates now.
Get more tips on tree trimming in the winter and year-round by calling Reliable Tree Care.