Autumn and Winter Pruning TIps
Bergen County Property Maintenance
Pruning trees and shrubs can enhance the attractiveness of almost any landscape. Many problems may be prevented through correct pruning during formative years for a tree or shrub. Our trained personnel will naturally shape and/or selectively remove growth to promote plant health. Pruning is an essential practice when maintaining your landscape; it allows us to create a natural yet clean and manicured appearance.
Consider the following with regards to pruning
• In early fall, pruning wounds close more slowly and plants are more at risk for fungal diseases than at other times of year. For most trees, the best time for major pruning is late winter to early spring because wounds close faster.
• Pruning in late summer and early fall may also stimulate new growth, which has little time to harden before cold weather comes. The cold can harm this tender new growth, and the tree may need more pruning in spring to remove the damage.
• If you want to prune in fall, wait until trees drop their leaves and are dormant—usually October or November. After leaf drop, you can see the tree’s structure and identify disease and insect problems more easily. Dormancy (especially late winter to early spring) is also a good time to prune evergreens because vigorous spring growth will hide pruning wounds.
Even in colder climates, it can be nice to leave some perennials standing throughout the fall and winter months. The seeds of Echinacea and Rudbeckia will attract and feed the birds: Sedum will hold onto snow like frosting. There are also plants that like the protection their foliage provides for their crowns. Asclepias (Butterfly Weed), Chrysanthemums and Heuchera (Coral Bells) fare best if cleaned up in the spring.
But some perennials don’t handle rough weather well. They won’t remain attractive after frost and they have recurrent problems with pests and diseases, which will over winter in their fallen foliage and surface in the spring. These perennial flowers are best cut down in the fall. If they are diseased, throw the foliage away, do not compost it. There will always be exceptions and time will play a factor.