Pruning tips for winter

The falling leaves mark the start of one of the most important and busy times on any contractor’s calendar — the pruning season.

Winter is a time where pruning trees, shrub and bushes becomes a top priority to increase the chances of a bountiful and beautiful garden in the warmer

Ron Zacka, the founder and director of Parklands Power Products, has given his top tips for pruning during the winter months.

  1. Start with a clean-up. Remove dead, diseased, and disorderly branches. Any branch that crosses over another at an odd angle, rubs against another branch,
    grows inward toward the centre, or is a duplication of another branch immediately below or above it, can be removed.
  2. The right time. Most deciduous trees are best pruned when dormant, in late autumn or winter. Don’t prune in early spring, as many trees bleed sap
    if cut at this time of year because they’re already starting to produce new growth.
  3. Cutting angles. Prune all vertically growing branches by making an angled cut. This will prevent water from stagnating on the wound and it speeds up
    the healing process and reduces the risk of disease. The slope of the angle should be away from the bud at the node, so that water will not run
    onto it. It is not essential to cut horizontal branches like this because any water will run off them naturally.
  4. The right tool. Use the right tool for the right branch size. Hand pruners are generally appropriate for branches up to 1.5cm. Loppers are good for
    branches up to 2.5cm. However, loppers can be quite clumsy and don’t often make the cleanest cut. As a substitute, try using a pruning hand saw
    for branches over 1.5cm in thickness. Never use a carpenter’s saw as they’re designed to cut dead and seasoned timber, not living branches.
  5. Find a pro for the big jobs. Please note that major surgery, chainsaw work and any pruning which is substantial, high, inaccessible, or requires a
    ladder, should be done by a qualified and registered expert, both for your own safety and also for the long-term health of your tree.

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