This is the perfect time to prune! The reason being is that the trees are still dormant, this means you are catching them just before new growth begins, additionally wound closure is much faster when it is just before new growth starts. However, it is important to know what you are doing when you prune to ensure that your plants are happy and healthy.
When pruning, you want to make sure that your cuts are made just above a bud or leaf or at the collar of the branch at a 45-degree angle, parallel to the stem’s bud or leaf is preferred. Make a cut just below your pruning spot, close to the trunk, to prevent the bark from stripping off during removal. When pruning, make sure that you don’t go overboard. Colorado State Forest Service recommends that you not remove more than 25% of a tree’s branches in any one year.
You are looking for a few things when pruning:
- Dead/torn/broken branches
- Obstruction or competition to the leader (dominate vertical top step)
- Crossing or rubbing limbs
- Branches out of place from desired shape
- Cluttered branches that will prevent proper light and air flow from reaching the leaves
- Diseased branches (be sure to disinfect before cutting on your tree again)
Be sure to always exercise caution when pruning and ensure that you are wearing the proper saftey equiptment. Pruning is a rewarding and necessary part of maintaining your landscape, and we are always here to help! Give us a call at 970-226-2296 for questions!