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John Fulton

John Fulton
Former County Extension Director

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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

The Proper Time For Pruning is not in the Fall

Posted by John Fulton -

Several calls have come in about pruning trees and shrubs this time of year. Simply put, major pruning is not recommended at this time. Sure, you can lop off the odd branch about head high to avoid injury while mowing. However, regular pruning is a rejuvenating process for the plant. This means stored energy meant for the winter will be used to produce new shoots. These new shoots won't be sufficiently aged to survive the winter. Then you will have some dead tips to cut off at the proper time anyway.

High sap flow trees such as maples and gums are best pruned in December. The same goes for oaks to avoid oak wilt as a secondary problem. Fruit trees and other deciduous trees are best done in late February or early March. Flowering trees and shrubs may be done as soon as they complete flowering. Evergreens are best done in late June.

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