With spring just around the corner, start 2020 off right for your trees with a winter trim.  Some of the more practical benefits of pruning in winter vs. trimming while your tree is in bloom have already been touched on, as well as some more efficiency-minded reasons to trim in the winter. What has not been addressed, however, is why pruning your tree in winter can actually be beneficial to your tree’s health.

Know When Trees Can Be Safely Pruned

The most important thing to keep in mind is that not all trees can stand up to the same sorts of treatment: just because one type of tree can be safely pruned in winter does not mean every tree in your yard can be. Consult with an expert on the subject if you’re unsure.


Generally, a good time to prune a tree is during a period where the cuts will not interrupt growth. So trees that primarily bloom late in the season can be safely trimmed during the winter, while trees that bloom earlier might need to be trimmed more towards the end of the season.

Why You Should Prune in Winter

It Won’t Interrupt Your Tree’s Growth Cycle

Pruning when the tree is dormant can help you to encourage growth by decreasing the stress put onto a tree that inevitably occurs when it is pruned. This ensures that you have time between when you prune your tree and when it actually begins to blossom for it to recover, allowing the cuts made to begin the healing process ahead of the springtime growth period.


Incorrectly pruning a tree can have a dramatic effect on your tree’s health and looks — shortening its lifespan, killing it outright, or even making it so susceptible to disease that it just never recovers — and dormant pruning can help give you a bit more leeway, especially if your trim is going to be a big one.

Risk Prevention

Another benefit to wintertime pruning is that the new cuts will have more time to heal up in the off-season before insects and diseases have a chance to harm your trees. Pruning branches that are dead, damaged, diseased or just generally weakened can also help to improve the health of your tree by ensuring that any areas are not exposed to an undue amount of outside contaminants while it heals.


The potential risk prevention stems beyond just your tree’s health. Pruning can also help to keep the area around the tree safe, as well! Pruning weaker branches in the wintertime can help to ensure that they are not snapped off due to the weight of built-up ice or snow. While the primary concern here is the risk posed to bystanders who may be standing under the branch when it gives, the trauma and damage to the tree itself gives you another incentive to preemptively trim any potentially problematic offshoots.

The Tree’s Shape is Easier to See

Controlling a tree’s shape by pruning it is an important way to maintain tree life to ensure ideal exposure to sun and air. While the shape of a tree can be difficult to read when fully blossomed, a bare tree makes it much easier to examine, and easier to shape. Especially if heavy pruning is required, waiting until just before the season’s blossoming may impede growth and impact the tree’s health, while also making it more difficult to read.

Halo Tree Service — Shelby Township’s Resident Experts

If you feel like you might need to give your yard some care, call Halo Tree Service, your tree and shrub care expert in the Shelby Township! Whether interested in a winter trim or you just want advice from the experts about how best to maintain your treeline, contact Halo Tree Service today!