What should I do in my yard in January?
This question is often pondered when we get one of those days that the temperature creeps above 40 degrees and the snow has melted enough that we want to get an early start on pruning.
Stop! Don’t do it, plants on the front range of Colorado are not often in their natural habitat. Many of the issues that cause plants to lose branches and dieback often happen in the late winter.
If you have pruned too early you risk fewer viable branches to work with in keeping a decent looking specimen. Also, there is a certain amount of insulation that is provided by the plant itself and severe pruning at this time of the year can allow that cold air to get inside the plant and promote further dieback.
We encourage you to walk around the yard, make some big plans for later in the year, shop websites on the computer and plant catalogs for the newest plants. Leave your pruners in their scabbard and come back in a couple of months.