About Winter Tree Pruning

Maintaining a beautiful landscape is important for an avid gardener. One of the ways to help keep the garden looking clean and beautiful is by pruning trees. Pruning not only gives trees an aesthetic appearance, it contributes to their well-being and helps them with healthier growth. Performing winter pruning on trees annually can help trees develop beautifully.

The Facts

Winter pruning is a method of using pruning shears, saws, clippers and other pruning tools to remove the woody part of any plant or trees during the winter season. Dead branches, new branches, diseased branches and wayward branches can be trimmed and pruned to give the tree a better appearance, while keeping it healthy.


There are different types of pruning methods or cuts that one can use for winter pruning. You can perform a method called crown thinning pruning method, crown raising pruning method and crown reduction pruning method. "Crown thinning" is a method used to help develop a tree's form or structure by removing a selection of branches, which will allow a better air flow and light penetration around the crown of the trees. "Crown raising" is a method of removing branches from the bottom part of the crown of trees. "Crown reduction" or "drop crotch catch," is a method used to prune overgrown trees that may have exceeded permitted growth height.


Pruning during winter can help stimulate the growth of the remaining branches. It helps the tree to develop a stronger structure while improving their form and appearance. Pruned fruit-bearing trees yield more fruits that are healthier while flowering trees yield more blossoms. Pruning removes diseased branches, preventing the infestation from spreading among the other branches that can ultimately kill the trees. It helps remove obstructions that may cause accidents to pedestrians, sometimes causing fire or electrocution when branches and electrical wires mesh with each other.

Risk Factors

Poor pruning can be damaging to the tree. You must have the proper tools and knowledge in pruning trees before tackling this project. Each type of cut can change the growth of the tree, so not knowing the proper technique may do more harm than good. In addition, using shears used to cut diseased plants and trees may transfer the disease to the next tree. Disinfect pruning shears before using.