Most people take advantage of the hot weather in summer, but winter is the best time for trees to rest. This dormant period temporarily slows down the tree’s growth, giving homeowners a great opportunity to perform necessary maintenance while reducing stress on the branches and leaves.

Winter tree pruning is just one of many services Tree Soldiers offer that will add value to your home, protect your investment, and save you time and money.

Reasons for pruning

Pruning is used to modify the shape and growth of plants, and professional pruning early in the tree’s formation can prevent many current and future problems. The reasons for pruning are:


A healthy tree can provide beauty, shade, fruit or flowers throughout its life. Conditions that can negatively affect your health include:

✓ Twigs rubbed together

✓ Cutting branches that can encourage wood rot

✓ Dead or dying branches due to internal or external causes


Annual maintenance may be required to ensure:

✓ Dense growth

✓ Preferred form

✓ Fruit or flower development


Pruning should enhance the natural shape and beauty of a tree and should only be used for cosmetic purposes.

✓ Maintain natural proportions

✓ Remove undesirable growth

✓ Size and shape control

✓ Increase the curb appeal of your home 


Protect your family, visitors and property with these pruning techniques.

✓ Remove branches from sidewalks, rooflines, parking spaces, or anywhere else that could cause damage or injury if dropped.

✓ Remove dead branches

✓ Get a clear view of your home entrance

How to prune dormant trees

Pruning trees in winter or early spring, before spring growth begins, gives the tree enough time to recover from fresh wounds while minimizing exposure to insects, bacteria and fungi. Minimizing the risk of injury to trees or individuals requires special tools and safety equipment, and this process is best left to experienced and qualified professionals.

Tools and safety equipment

✓ Saw

✓ Pole saw

✓ Pruning shears

✓ Rope scissors

✓ Ladder

✓ Eye protection

✓ Heavy duty gloves

Pruning type

Scavenging – This type of pruning is necessary to remove damaged, dead or diseased limbs to prevent further damage or injury.

Raise – Remove some low branches to allow greater clearance for people, vehicles, signs, or lawn care.

Thinning – Strategic thinning reduces branch density to promote air movement and light penetration.

Collapsing – Should only be used when necessary to reduce the height or width of the tree. If handled improperly or applied to more tolerant species, it can negatively affect the health and integrity of the tree.

Pruning Tips and Techniques

Small branches – To trim side branches or twigs, prune them back to the main branch or on a clean diagonal about 1/4 inch from the nearest bud.

Large branches – Require a series of cuts to avoid damaging the bark. The first cut should be made at the base of the branch between 18 inches and 2 feet from the main stem and penetrate about 1/3 of the branch.

The second cut should be made at the top of the branch about an inch further from the first cut and cut until the branch breaks.

Final cuts should be made past the branch feathers and left intact to promote natural healing.

For winter tree pruning in your area Clarence, contact your local Tree Soldiers franchise. For more videos on pruning, check out the Winter Pruning playlist on YouTube.

Did you know? Tree Soldiers is a Neighborly brand. Find a full network of professionals to support your home service needs at Tree Soldiers.

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