Meghan O'Connell2018/02/14

Winter Pruning

I live in Massachusetts and the winters are bitter cold, so when I first heard of "winter pruning" my first thought was: 

"Who in their right mind would want to do that!?" 

For me, winter is a time to rest and recharge after a busy and exhausting gardening season. Winter is my time to work out at the gym and do yoga. It's the time where I do everything else that I was too busy to do all spring, summer, and fall. 

So today I surprised myself: I did some winter pruning! Granted, it's a balmy 45 degrees in the middle of February, which is not typical, but still, I'm gardening in the WINTER! Who would have thunk? (Not me!)

There are two really great reasons for me to be pruning right now. Actually, three:

1. I get to be outside in the sun! As soon as the temperatures dip back below 40 though, I'm going back inside to keep working on business stuff or practice playing guitar. 

2. It is much easier to see the shape of the trees or shrubs I am pruning in the winter, as long as it's deciduous (has leaves, not needles). With all the leaves gone, I can quickly determine which branches look dead, broken, or are just crowding the plant. Then I can cut them out, giving the plant more light and air, which aids in keeping it healthy. 

3. I can still make money in my "off" season! This is very good for a business that makes most of its income for only about 8 months out of the year.