Press release: Cold weather means pruning time

Tom Dominguez

It’s pruning time! Here are some things to keep in mind before taking
saw in hand.

Tree age
Pruning is important when trees are young. Trees can be trained
through pruning to direct growth, correct growth, and help develop a
strong canopy. Training should take place while the tree is young into

How much to prune?
Remove no more than 25-30 percent of the tree at one time. More
than this can weaken a tree’s ability to fight off pests, disease and
other problems.
Young trees tolerate heavy pruning better than older trees.

Temporary branches

The lower limbs on a young tree are temporary but important, so
don’t remove them too quickly. They shade and protect the trunk from
sunscald, produce food for the tree, and help strengthen the tree trunk.
Gradually remove these temporary branches. Temporary branches can be
kept short, about 10-12 inches long, so they don’t compete with the
upward growth of a tree or development of permanent scaffold branches.

Tree top versus trunk ratio