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Benefits of Dormant Pruning In Minnesota

April 26, 2023
Benefits of Dormant Pruning In Minnesota
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When it comes to commercial landscaping services, you may not think of plant pruning. While lawn maintenance and hardscaping are often the first thought business owners have, there is much more to landscaping services than you think.

Earth Development helps Minnesota businesses keep their outdoor spaces looking great, and we aim to provide important information about landscaping right here on our site. In this piece, we’ll look at the benefits of pruning trees in winter and why you should prune plants.

What Is Dormant Pruning?

Okay, so let’s start with dormant pruning.

This refers to the maintenance and pruning of a tree while the tree is not growing – meaning it is done sometime in the fall or winter.

While pruning during the summer and spring months is typically not a problem, a plant can usually withstand much more extreme pruning when it isn’t growing. The benefit, then, is that you are able to change the entire shape of a tree or a bush, and remove entire sections of the plant that may be getting in the way of a walkway, entrance, or driveway.

Why Prune Plants?

Why Prune Plants

There are several reasons why you may want to prune a tree, ranging from determining the shape of the plant to protecting its overall health.

Let’s take a look at some of the best dormant pruning benefits for your trees, plants, and shrubs.

Dormant Pruning Prevents Outgrowing

First of all, it helps you determine the shape of your plant – and as mentioned, it’s easy to ensure that plants and trees are not growing in the way of your pavements or walkways when you perform dormant pruning each year.

Dormant Pruning Stimulates Healthy Growth

Dormant pruning also helps you stimulate healthy growth in the branches you don’t prune. Instead of focusing energy and resources on dying branches or diseased parts of the tree, you can ensure that a tree is growing only its healthiest branches.

Dormant Pruning Prevents Diseases

Other benefits of dormant pruning include getting rid of diseased or dead branches that will only fall off later and potentially cause injury.

Pruning In Late Winter Is Easier

Pruning in the winter is also easier. Without leaves, the structure of the tree and its branches is clearer, making it easier to determine the perfect shape.

Fresh cuts on a tree also heal more quickly during the dormant season, meaning disease-carrying insects are less likely to cause problems for your trees.

Dormant Pruning Makes Your Property Safer

As mentioned, diseased branches are likely to fall off and could potentially harm pedestrians who use your walkways. The branches may also block entryways, exit signs, windows, and more.

Pruning ensures that trees are not obstructing your view and that your property is safe for everybody who enters.

Dormant Pruning Improves Air Circulation

Air circulation is important for plants, as it allows every branch and leaf to get as much sunlight as they need. When you thin out a plant during its dormant phase, you open up its canopy and allow that air to circulate and more light to reach the leaves. This also helps prevent insect damage and disease.

Pruning Enhances Beauty In Summer

When you’ve finished pruning in the winter, the leaves and buds will only grow where you left the healthy branches.

So while your plants and trees may not look their healthiest in the wintertime, they will look fantastic as soon as the summer arrives.

Pruning Increases Life Span Of Trees

Dormant pruning may also increase the longevity of your tree or shrub. It helps plants withstand the winter, including snow and ice. What’s more, with more light access thanks to a thinned canopy, your tree’s leaves will be able to capture more light and therefore live longer and more healthily.

Common Pruning Mistakes

Pruning Tree Mistakes

There are some important considerations to remember to safely prune your trees, and these are some of the mistakes you should ensure you don’t make.

Not Pruning At All

The first thing to avoid is, obviously, not pruning your tree at all. It might seem as though a tree is healthy and fine, but pruning has so many benefits that you may later regret not doing it.

Snipping Too Much

Never remove more than a quarter of a plant in any season, as taking off too much of the plant will encourage sucker growth.

Take off roughly one quarter, then allow the tree to go and see how it looks – then, you may go from there.

Taking Off Only the Top

Taking off the top of a shrub is known as “topping.” It will result in a plant creating a strange-looking bunch of new shoots around the shrub which will usually look worse.

Remember to follow all the natural lines of your tree when pruning, and don’t just take off the top.

Leaving A Stub

Never leave a stub on a branch. Instead, prune right the way back to either a bud or a branch. An open-end encourages disease and could result in the tree being damaged by diseased insects.

Need Dormant Pruning in Minnesota? Let Earth Development Handle This!

Need help managing your outdoor space and safely pruning your trees and shrubs? Call Earth Development today for a free quote and to learn more about our landscaping and commercial pruning services.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Eddy Zakes
Eddy is a distinguished expert in the snow removal and landscaping industry, boasting over 20 years of experience. As an Advanced Snow Manager certified by the Snow and Ice Management Association (SIMA), he is dedicated to upholding the highest industry standards. His strong commitment to excellence and relentless pursuit of improvement makes him a trusted voice in the snow removal and landscaping.
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