The cold winter months in Colorado are the perfect time to prep your landscape to encourage beautiful color and blooms during the following spring. Though winter months are often seen as a dormant period for shrubs, flowers, and trees, it’s the perfect time to do a little work around your property. Here are three reasons why would should prune your plants throughout the winter months.
1. Encourages Growth
Many flowering shrubs, such as forsythia, lilac, and viburnum produce the most flowers when the wood is young. As the shrub starts to mature, it will slow down on flower production and grow stronger branches that are thick and hard to prune. Winter pruning should remove no more than one-third of the thickest, oldest stems on the shrub in order to make room for young growth. A fresh burst of growth will rejuvenate the plant during the spring and increase the length of time you can enjoy its blooms from year to year.
2. Avoids Insect Infestations
The winter season often puts a halt to the spread of disease or colonization of insects, but having plants pruned plays a part in reducing the attraction for insects still looking for a home. Trees release a pheromone that attracts disease or fungi carrying bugs, and pruning lowers the release levels. Pruning in the winter also gives time for any wounds on the tree to dry out and grow new tissue before insects find the hole and make their way in.
3. Avoid Disruption
Removing shrubs or trees from your landscape often requires significant digging. This can disrupt the soil and surrounding shrubbery. When work is scheduled during the winter months when the ground is hard, there is a less likely chance of causing damage or injury to the surrounding plant material. However, if pruning a shrub or removing a tree causes damage to a neighboring plant, corrective pruning can repair the damaged roots or above-ground portions and improve the chance of the damaged plant’s recovery.