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Serving North Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
24-Hour Emergency Storm Service
678-482-9994
Serving North Atlanta and Surrounding Areas
678-482-9994

Why You Should Have Your Trees Trimmed In Late Winter

If you notice a dead, dangerous limb on your tree, then you should have it trimmed away quickly to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries — regardless of the time of year. However, general, maintenance-focused tree trimming is best performed in late winter.

With the ground half frozen and snow flakes dancing in the breeze, this may seem like an unlikely time of year to be trimming your trees. But in fact, there are four good reasons to schedule your annual tree trimming appointment for late winter.

Winter Trimming Reduces the Risk of Disease


Most diseases that impact trees, from anthracnose to thousand cankers disease, are caused by fungi. These fungi thrive in moist, warm weather. If you have your tree trimmed when it is moist and warm outside, the tree is at an increased risk of infection in the cut, exposed wood.

Fungi, and also the insects that spread them, are less active in the cold, dry winter months. By the time spring comes, the cuts will be healed, and your tree will be better prepared to fight off any fungi it comes into contact with. Regular winter trimming actually helps decrease the risk of fungal infection since it increases air flow though the branches, keeping them dryer.

Winter Trimming Minimizes Sap Loss


When the weather is cold, trees enter a period of dormancy during which they do not circulate as much sap. Any cuts made in late winter will bleed less than those made during spring or summer when the tree is actively growing. Excessive sap loss can be hard on a tree. Sap also attracts insects that may infect or feed on the tree in the warmer months.

Maple trees are an exception to the winter pruning rule. Since maples circulate a lot of sap in late winter, you're better off pruning these trees in the summer after the leaf buds open. The tree will bleed a lot less at this time. Older, established maples can tolerate being lightly trimmed in late winter if that is what you prefer, but younger ones should absolutely be pruned in the summer to reduce sap loss. 

Winter Trimming Conserves the Tree's Resources


If you wait until spring or summer to trim your tree, you'll trim away new branches and leaves that the tree has put important resources into producing. On the contrary, if you trim away extra branches in the winter before the tree begins growing again, you will save the tree from having to produce new leaves and twigs on those non-essential branches. This leaves the tree more water and nutrients to use developing the healthy, desirable branches left behind.

Winter trimming increases the tree's rigor since it ensures resources are used on the best branches. Spring and summer trimming tends to do the opposite.

Winter Trimming Creates Less Mess


When you trim away branches in the spring and summer, you have a lot of leaves and twig debris to clean up. If you do not clean the mess up promptly, it can perpetuate fungal growth and infections, and it may attract undesirable wildlife. In the winter, when there are no leaves on the trees, cleanup after trimming is a lot easier. The debris won't get wet with rain and mud, either.

Have your trees trimmed at least every couple of years to ensure they maintain a healthy shape, to remove dead and dangerous branches, and to reduce the risk of disease.

Contact R & R Tree and Landscaping if you're looking for a reliable tree service in the Atlanta area. We have nearly 30 years of experience and offer a range of services including tree trimming, removal, and stump grinding.

R & R Tree and Landscaping
1381 Buford Highway
Buford, GA 30518
24-Hour Emergency Service Available
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Phone: 678-482-9994
Fax: 678-482-9996
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