Many people feel that once we enter the month of December, our landscape responsibilities get put on the shelf until the following spring. Based on the fact that leaves are shed and plants go dormant, it is believed that there is not much that can be done during the winter months. Although this dormancy period eliminates the need for weekly mowing and trimming, it opens up an opportunity to dramatically improve our landscape plants.
Dormant pruning involves selective removal or reduction of branches in our trees and shrubs. Many of our landscape plants are deciduous, which means they drop their leaves in the fall. This not only protects plants from the winter cold, but it allows us the opportunity to view the branch structure of these plants. The ability to see this inner branch structure gives us a perfect opportunity to do some “targeted” pruning. We can now decide exactly which limbs need to be removed or reduced and where to make our cuts. During their dormancy periods, plants are not stressed by this type of pruning and respond bountifully with beautiful new growth in the spring. There are typically two primary types of dormant pruning:
rejuvenation pruning and