By Dave Jackson, Arborist Representative

The leaves are all raked up and now you are looking at your winter landscape waiting for spring to arrive. You may even be making a list of the things you want to do with your yard once warmer weather arrives. If tree work is on your list, we have news for you, you don’t have to wait until spring or summer to have this work done. Yes, even in Pennsylvania, tree work can be done throughout the winter months. In fact, there are some good reasons to have that work done during the winter months.

There is a common misconception that tree maintenance work cannot be done during the winter months or that tree companies in general don’t work in winter. Granted, there are times when severe weather creates dangerous conditions for tree crews and work must be put on hold. But in general, most tree work, such as pruning and removals, can be performed in winter.

Don’t get me wrong, spring and summer (and even fall) are great times to do tree work. During the growing season we are better able to see dead limbs or sections of trees that are dying, prune trees for increased light penetration, and see where leaves may be blocking a view or walkway. But, there are many advantages to having tree work completed in winter as well.

Advantages of Winter Tree Work

Easier to see the tree’s structure

The lack of leaves on deciduous trees helps to see the tree’s structure. Without leaves impeding the view, structural issues such as co-dominant leaders, crossing and rubbing branches, multiple branches growing in the same direction can be more easily identified. Many structural issues can be corrected by implementing proper pruning practices early in a tree’s life.

Readily identify potentially dangerous defects

A lack of foliage also makes it easier to spot defects and problem areas, such as decay and rot, that could make a tree at greater risk of failure or breakage. In summer, these defects are often hidden by dense foliage.

Pests are dormant

Another advantage of winter tree work, especially pruning, is that insects and diseases are dormant and are less likely to infect trees through pruning wounds. For example, insects that can spread oak wilt disease are not active. Pruning oaks can be done safely and effectively during the colder months. It is the same with elm trees, they should not be pruned during the warmer months due to the possibility of spreading Dutch elm disease.

Increased time for wound closure

During winter, tree growth ceases and does not begin again until spring. Maximum wound closure is achieved when trees are pruned during late winter, prior to the growing season starting. This gives trees the entire growing season to callus over wounds before dormancy sets in again.

Storm damage prevention

Pruning trees in winter can remove weakly attached, damaged, or dead limbs thus removing the threat of them falling during winter storms when they are covered with a heavy layer of ice or snow. The same applies to dead trees, they too are more susceptible to fail during winter storms. Removing a large dangerous tree in winter can provide peace of mind, relieving fears of a tree falling during severe weather.

Minimal ground damage

It is impossible to avoid some ground damage during a large tree removal or pruning project (although we always do our best!). With frozen ground, equipment and limbs will do little damage to lawns and gardens. Additionally, in winter, perennial gardens are dormant, thus allowing tree work to be completed with little risk of damage to flowering plants.

Decreased cost and scheduling waits

Once the ground freezes, equipment can access sites that otherwise might have been difficult or required significant yard matting, an additional cost on many projects. No leaves also means faster cleanups and easier access for climbers and equipment. Another benefit of winter tree work is that you can avoid the longer job scheduling wait times of summer. Most winter tree jobs get scheduled and completed within weeks of proposal acceptance.

Why wait? Contact us and get your tree work done this winter

The professional arborists at Cutting Edge Tree Professionals are available to visit your property year-round. They can evaluate your trees and shrubs and provide recommendations based on your landscape objectives and needs. There is no need to wait for warm weather to check “tree work” off your to-do list!

Call us today at (814) 201-9757 or fill out our online contact form.