Got the Itch?

This is a correct pruning cut.

Today the sun sets an hour and ten minutes later than it did on December 16.  The average high temperature for February 16 is 29 degrees  and in just one month from now, the average high will be 41 degrees  Sometime during the month there will be some days when temperatures will climb into the mid-40’s and conditions will be pleasant for performing one of the years first gardening activities

When snow depths recede and days are mild, pruning trees can be a great way to satisfy your itch to beautify your landscape.  While pruning trees isn’t very high on the glamour scale, few maintenance activities in your landscape can yield such a dramatic difference in the quality of your landscape.

Trees that do not receive a pruning every few years to establish good strong structure and pleasing appearance are likely to have weak structure and a less than desirable appearance.  If you plant a tree and fail tp prune for good strong structure, you may find yourself removing that tree when it fails in a storm after having invested 15, 20 or 30 years in trying to get a decent tree.

The most important time to prune shade and ornamental trees is the first ten years after planting.  By spending 10 to 30 minutes on pruning every two years during the first ten years, you will be able to eliminate weak and unsightly branches that could cause the tree to break up in a violent storm.

In the coming weeks I will focus on a few basics of how to prune trees for excellent structure.  For now, stay warm, clean up your pruners and saws, and  be ready for the next really nice day when you can venture out to prune a few trees!