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Learn to plant and maintain strong, healthy trees that will thrive for generations.

Winter Care

The season to prune your tree

December, January, February

  • Pruning is best done during the winter months. Begin shaping your tree the first winter after planting. Do not remove more than 25% of the tree's live branches at any one time. Join us at a free Pruning Clinic or review our easy to use Pruning Guide.
  • As your young tree matures, maintain the central leader (main vertical stem). Thin out narrowly spaced branches. This allows good tree structure and promotes healthy growth. Visit www.arborday.org for a complete pruning guide.
  • Remove weeds and add mulch. Make sure the mulch is 4 feet in diameter around your tree, 4 inches away from the trunk, and 6 inches deep.
  • Check the stakes and ties. If your tree can stand on its own, remove them. If they are still needed, be sure the stakes are firmly in the ground and placed away from the trunk. Make sure the ties are wrapped loosely around the tree and tied firmly to the stake to allow the tree to move.
  • Do not let water pool around the base of the tree. If needed, dig a trench to drain water away from the trunk.
  • Do  not attempt to prune branches that you can only reach by ladder, instead hire a reliable tree care company