Thursday, November 24, 2011

Home Grown: When to Prune

As the days get shorter and plants go dormant for winter, many homeowners become anxious to prune their landscapes. But for most trees and shrubs, pruning in the fall is not the best time.

Some woody trees and shrubs can be injured during winter from pruning cuts or open wounds that won't have a chance to heal properly until next spring. An open wound in the winter is more likely to suffer damage from water freezing and thawing inside the cracks and crevices of the exposed wood.

It is generally better to prune trees and shrubs in February or early March just before spring growth begins. This is the ideal time to prune fruit trees, shade trees, crape myrtles, shrub roses, hollies and other evergreen plants.
Pruning in late winter minimizes the time the wound is exposed. As trees break dormancy in the spring, their rapid growth will quickly heal over any exposed wounds or cuts. Wound sealants or pruning paints are not recommended. Numerous studies have shown that these products actually slow or delay the healing process and provide little or no benefit.

Continued at...When to Prune

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