Tree pruning can be both a science and an art. Pruning can be of different kinds, for different purposes. Orchard pruning stimulates the early production of fruit and increases economic return. Landscape pruning on the other hand is mainly done to improve a tree’s aesthetic appeal, to promote longevity, health and natural form and for reducing hazards and unrestricted growth of competing or unwanted branches. At times, people prune a tree to reduce its size.
When Should You Prune A Tree?
Tree pruning is necessary if wayward branches block or interfere traffic visibility, traffic, view and brush against buildings, sidings, roofs, pavements and power lines. You need to prune multiple leader branches or upright branches which may develop into a secondary or additional trunk. ‘V’ shaped crotches need to be pruned whenever it is possible to do so.
You should also prune crossed limbs which are rubbing together or may rub together in the near future. Sprouts at the trunk base, dying or dead or diseased branches and tree branches growing across or toward the centre of the tree need to be pruned as well.
Season for Tree Pruning
The best time to prune deciduous fruit or flowering trees is in the winter season. The preferred time is between January and March. But you can take up your gardening shears as early as the dormant season in October and November, after the leaves have fallen off.
Pruning should be complete by spring, before the blooming of colour in the flower buds and swelling leaves. Arborists prefer tree pruning in the dormant season as the overall health and growth of a tree are not compromised after removal of a limb.
This is because most of the nutrients and carbohydrates required by a tree get stored in the wood and roots of a tree in the dormant season.
If you prune your trees in the winter, there are less chances of diseases, infections and damage. Pruning in this season also minimises sap flow from wounds.
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