Deciduous Tree Pruning

Winter – Great Time for Deciduous Tree Pruning

Winter is a great time for cutting/pruning most deciduous trees. There is little sap movement during the winter months while the trees are dormant so the tree doesn’t lose too much energy due to the pruning.

There are a few trees that are not recommended for pruning in winter:  horse chestnut, birch, walnut and cherry trees.  As a great surprise to me that list also includes Maple.  That’s a surprise because I have pruned my maples in Winter for the last 15 years with absolutely no ill effects at all.

The great benefit of pruning in winter for garden shredder users is that the wood is leaf free and is generally pretty dry.  All in all it makes it just about perfect to feed into the shredder.

Pruning Equipment

You really don’t need a lot of gear to be able to do a pretty professional job of pruning your own trees.  Here are some of the most useful items

Telescopic pruning shears are pretty much a must.  There are many models for sale on Amazon and many get great reviews.  These from Spear and Jackson get just about the best reviews but they are comparatively expensive.  Take your time and have a good shop around.
 A small hand held pruning saw will make short work of even quite thick branches that are within easy reach.  Using the saw attachment on the telescopic pruner works pretty well but is much more difficult and tiring to use.
I use the Draper saw and absolutely love it.
   Secateurs are still really great for pruning the smaller branches (again if you can reach them).  There are many models for sale with both bypass (blades cross like scissors) or anvil (only one cutting blade which comes across to meet the flat, anvil face) cutting mechanisms.  I like the anvil cutters better as I find I can use them more quickly.  My wife prefers cross over cutters.  The choice is yours and there are some really great options on Amazon

That’s about it really.  If you need a chain saw or any ladder bigger than a set of steps you are probably looking at major tree surgery.  In this case it may well be left to an expert who will not only be able to shape your tree beautifully (it might not look like it until you get some good spring growth underway though) but will take away most of the waste for you.  If you have an open fire make sure you keep any logs created from tree surgery.

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