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Pruning Trees and Shrubs in Winter

Winter is finally upon us and so we make our stand to greet it with pruners in hand! With the high winds and periodic heavy snows common along the Front Range, Colorado gardeners have our work cut out for us. Late fall-early winter is the perfect time to cut away the dead branches crowding our canopies and anchoring our arches. 

Deciduous tree canopies can be cleared of clutter to safeguard our snow-covered arboreal sentinels from damage caused by broken branches in a crowded crown. And while not under the same level of threat, shrubs too can lose their hard won shapes from weight caused by dead branches laden with fresh snow. Make sure to cut these post-mortem limbs at the node (for those out of the know, the node is the point at which one branch or twig attaches to another) for healthy, natural growth next spring.

It’s also an ideal time to survey the shape of your shrubs and think about the trim of your trees. Late winter is the recommended time to prune for shape, and the enlightened horticulturist will do themselves a favor by envisioning the shape of the future tree or shrub of their dreams unfettered by the living leaf litter of a plant in growth. So bundle up, pruner on, and get out there and cut a path to your landscape dreams!

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