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Winter Cleanup: Tree Pruning When the Weather Gets Cold

The weather here in Florida made headlines around the country last month. Temperatures in the low 40s across the state not only lead to an increase in jacket sales, it also saw an additional strange phenomenon: iguanas falling out of trees! While this change in the weather and the subsequent happenings surrounding it was a silly anomaly to most, it did bring about an interesting question for the Central Florida landscaping community: is is a good idea to prune trees when the temperature drops? The answer to this question is an unqualified…yes!

A Most Excellent Time of Year

For most trees, winter is the perfect time for pruning. This is because most trees enter a state of dormancy when the weather gets cold and lose most of their leaves. The branches of these trees become exposed and it becomes much easier to see the actual structure of the tree. This means that any troublesome spots such as branches hanging too close to any structures are also easier to identify. Furthermore, winter months are usually drier than warmer months. When branches are drier, they weigh less and are easier to cut. A definite win-win.

Fruit trees such as cypress, juniper, and spruce are ideal candidates for winter pruning and should be cut during colder months. Sap producing trees like elm, maple, and birch are best left until late summer or early fall however. This is because freshly exposed limbs are susceptible to seepage.

Some Handy Tips

It’s a good idea to make a plan before you start doing any work. Survey your property to decide which trees need to be trimmed and what equipment you will need to get the job done. Do you have extremely tall trees that will require special ladders and equipment? If so, it may be a good idea to hire a professional landscaping company as opposed to trying to go it alone. The last thing we want is for anyone to be injured while trimming from high places.

We recommend that larger branches be cut in stages. This will reduce the likelihood of injury to both you and the tree. Using your handsaw and/or snips, make a series of cuts beginning at about 18 inches from the trunk. Make an additional cut a few inches closer to the trunk and a final cut close to the trunk of the tree, just outside the branch’s collar. Remember to dispose of all branches in accordance with local laws and regulations and please be safe while working.

If you want to take the stress and danger out of tree trimming, please give Aventura Nursery & Landscaping a call at (352) 799-3200 today. We are standing by to help you make your yard look its best.