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February is the best time to prune your trees – never prune in April, May or June.

Tree branch being pruned

Have you considered pruning your trees this year? Pruning is beneficial for many reasons:

  1. Trimming off dying or diseased branches protects your trees from further harm.
  2. You can prune to promote new tree growth or suppress unwanted growth.
  3. Pruning can keep branches from becoming too large and hazardous.

According to Ramsey County Master Gardener Volunteers, February is the best time to prune your trees. In February, harmful tree diseases are at a minimum and deciduous trees have already “hardened off”, meaning they have prepared for winter dormancy. When the growing season begins, the wounds will be sealed, and the healing process will begin. July and August are the second-best times to prune.

April, May and June are not good months to prune because deciduous trees need to use their stored energy to produce new leaves instead of healing wounds. Also, pruning during warmer spring months encourages the spread of diseases such as Oak Wilt and damage by pests such as Emerald Ash Borer. Pruning too early, in late autumn and early winter, can lead to winter injury. The pruning wounds may not have time to heal and could freeze or be damaged by frost.

Ramsey County residents can bring branches to select Ramsey County yard waste collection sites. Sites are open on weekends during the winter. Visit our website for locations and hours. Please note that not all yard waste sites accept branches.

For more information on pruning, check out the University of Minnesota Extension website or consider attending an online class taught by Ramsey County Master Gardener Volunteers.

Posted on Sunday, January 31, 2021 - 8:32 a.m.