Mild weather a plus for winter pruning

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications

February 1, 2016

Mild weather a plus for winter pruning

Rachel and Greg Pruning

Pruning trees, shrubs, and vines regularly can revitalize their health and improve their habit, and winter offers the perfect pruning time for many species. Without a cover of leaves, deciduous plants reveal their underlying architecture and branch formation, allowing better-informed and easier pruning decisions for gardeners. Due to a lack of heavy snowfall and mostly mild temperatures this winter, our horticulture crew has been working diligently to tame overgrown plants and remove dead wood throughout the collections, improving vigor, structural integrity, and aesthetic qualities of our plants while enhancing the presentation of our landscape designed by Charles Sprague Sargent and Frederick Law Olmsted. When you visit the Arboretum over the next few weeks, look for stacks of cut branches and limbs along the edges of the roads as telltale signs that our horticulturists and arborists have been hard at work in that area.

Rachel PruningOn February 27, the Arboretum shares the rationale and varied techniques for winter pruning in a class with ISA-certified arborist Jen Kettell. Her practical class, Pruning Shrubs details best practices for pruning ornamental shrubs to encourage growth and highlight their natural beauty. Along with cutting and shaping techniques, Jen will help you determine the optimal timing to prune–an important part of managing any landscape.

If you’ve been curious about pruning and want to take advantage of this optimal season, Jen’s pruning classes offer a fun, interactive overview of everything you need to know to start pruning on your own, and are a great way to stay connected with the Arboretum and its plants through the winter season. Be sure to register in advance as space is limited.

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