Winter Pruning in a Sonoma County Landscape
Winter is a crucial time for pruning in Sonoma County as our growing season approaches quickly and the window for dormant pruning can be short. Proper pruning during the winter months can help maintain the health and beauty of your plants while also promoting growth and fruit production. Hiring Inspired Landscapes LLC for landscape maintenance services in Sonoma County will ensure your landscape thrives this coming year!
Why Prune in Winter?
An advantage of pruning dormant plants during winter months is that it allows for better visibility of the plant’s structure. Without the leaves it’s much easier to see the plant’s shape and identify any dead, disease, or damaged wood that needs to be removed. Clearing out dead growth reduces the spread of disease and pests while also encouraging the plant to sprout new healthy growth.
Winter brings dormancy for many plants such as fruit trees, roses, perennials, and many grasses. During this time the plants are not actively pushing nutrients and water through the plant tissue and therefore are less susceptible to stress when pruned. How and where we make our cuts will also largely determine what kind of new growth will emerge during the warmer months. Understanding how your pruning affects each plant is critical for improving fruit production, flowering, health, and overall structure and size of a plant. When looking for landscapers near you in Sonoma County be sure you pick a company who uses proper horticultural principles when pruning.
Using the Right Tool for the Job
Using the correct tools while pruning is of the utmost importance as is being sure to disinfect blades when pruning a diseased plant. For smaller perennials, shrubs, or even some immature trees, pruning shears will do the trick. However thicker branches over a half inch will require loppers to make a clean cut. For mature trees it’s best to use a saw which will make a clean and consistent cut through the branch without scarring accidentally stripping the bark and exposing the tree to infection. If you are pruning a diseased tree it’s very important to disinfect your pruning tool between each cut. For example fire blight which often infects pear and apple trees is very easily transferred from one area of a tree to another (or a neighboring tree) if diseased wood is cut and then the same tool is used on healthy wood.
Be Mindful of Which Plants are Pruned and When
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean every plant should be pruned back hard on the first day of winter. Some perennials will benefit from a delayed pruning in March just before warm weather arrives. Pruning early will result in tender new growth which is easily damaged by frost, potentially killing your plants. However if you wait too long to prune fruit trees or roses they might surprise you and sprout growth early with the first sign of warm weather which can often happen sporadically in Sonoma County even in January and February. For that reason pruning fruit trees and roses is recommended immediately after their leaves drop which is often as early as December.
Sonoma County landscaping companies such as Inspired Landscapes will be your guide to maximizing the potential of your landscape through pruning during winter months. Whether you have an orchard, rose garden, or contemporary landscape filled with ornamental grasses, the timing and techniques of winter pruning will vastly impact how your landscape performs over the growing season.