Pruning Trees in Winter

Home/Landscape Maintenance, Tree Pruning/Pruning Trees in Winter
  • pruning trees in winter, landscape design companies in reston

Pruning Trees in Winter

There IS a benefit to your trees being bare and somewhat desolate-looking during this time of year:  your dormant trees are gathering up strength to really put on a spectacular show when the warmth of Spring finally arrives.  However, this is when you should lend a helping hand in the form of pruning; new growth has to be encouraged, and when the trees are bare, the branches are easier to see and to handle, not to mention the harder ground allows for easier access to the tree.


Though its usually best to wait until the coldest part of the Winter has passed, (February through March is usually the best time to prune trees), it is not imperative to do so only in that window.  For flowering trees, it’s critical that you prune while the tree is still dormant.  If you prune after blooms have started to form, you could be limiting its blooming potential in the Spring.  Some species, such as maple, walnuts and birches, may excrete sap.  While this is not dangerous to the tree, it can be unsightly, so it’s best to prune when the weather is colder and the sap is not as likely to “bleed.”

It’s important to remember that every branch should be removed for a reason.  Each cut has the potential to change the shape of the tree substantially as well as its ability to bloom if it’s a flowering tree, so pruning should not be done without a “plan.”  Dead, diseased and damaged branches should be removed as soon as possible, both to prevent the spread of potential disease and for safety’s sake.  Dead branches can easily fall in the slightest crosswind and cause personal injury or property damage.  Any branches that interfere in visibility on your street or driveway should also be cut.  Now is the time, when the trees are bare, to do an honest assessment of where issues will arise once leaves begin to grow again.

It’s important to have a critical eye as you walk among your trees and determine whether this is really necessary, since thinning for the sake of it does not necessarily improve the health of a tree.

Pruning isn’t just beneficial in encouraging bloom growth in the Spring, it can also save you money and time by helping manage insects and disease. Removing the dead branches can help prevent disease carrying organisms from entering your branches and disease spreading.  Thinning a tree’s canopy can increase the sunlight and air to your tree and landscape, also resulting in less disease in the long run.

Professionals at Sunrise Landscape and Design are carefully trained to prune trees according to advanced pruning techniques and with the uniqueness of each tree species in mind. Hiring Sunrise for your tree care will leave your trees healthier, structurally sound and beautiful for years to come!


Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s best landscaping company, offering a full range of landscaping services. Our landscape and design services include building outdoor living spaces, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting. Our property maintenance services will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year-round with mulching, edging, turf care, seasonal cleanups, lawn mowing and tree care. Contact us today for all your landscaping and lawn maintenance needs!