Dormant Pruning: Should You be Doing it?

If you have trees and shrubs growing around your property, you may have wondered when the best time to prune is. Pruning has a huge effect on a plant’s ability to grow and change over time. Doing it properly can have big payoffs, and doing it incorrectly can result in permanent damage! One method of pruning you may want to consider is dormant pruning. To learn more about what this is and learn if it’s right for you, read on!

What is Dormant Pruning?

In order to understand dormant pruning, we have to first understand plant dormancy. All perennial plants go through a period of growth and a period of hibernation. During the winter months, it’s too cold for plants to continue growing. Going into hibernation allows them to protect themselves, and as a result, grow bigger and revitalize during the summer!

Dormant pruning is simply pruning your plants during the winter while they are in hibernation. This is usually done between November to March but can depend on the seasons of an area. Non-dormant pruning is pruning while the plant is actively growing during the warmer months. This can be an issue for many reasons, which makes dormant pruning almost always the better option. To learn some of the perks of dormant pruning, read the section below!

What are the Perks of Dormant Pruning? 

  • One perk of dormant pruning is that it’s simply easier to do. During the colder months, plants drop their leaves leaving the stems of the plant exposed. This allows the person pruning the tree or shrub to get a clearer visual of each stem they are cutting off. Not having to work around thick summer foliage is a definite plus!
  • Another perk worth mentioning is the fact that trees and shrubs are less prone to pest issues during the winter. When you cut off parts of a plant, it leaves an area exposed to potential problems. However, insects and diseases are much less likely to get ahold of the exposed area during the colder months! 
  • Dormant pruning also allows plants to focus on proper growth during the warmer season. While plants are basically shut down during the winter, they can still heal themselves from whatever pruning cuts you make on them. By healing from dormant pruning over the winter, plants are able to focus their energy on new growth during the spring and summer!

If you have additional questions about dormant pruning or want to speak to a professional landscaper, don’t hesitate to give us a call at any time!