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To Prune or Not to Prune in the Fall

To Prune or Not to Prune in the Fall

When I think of fall, images of corn stalks, mums, pumpkins and scarecrows come to mind. Nothing heralds the coming of autumn like the brilliance and splendor of fall foliage (in addition to the college football season heating up!). Fall also signals the end of another growing season as plants prepare for their long winter slumber.

As cooler temperatures settle in, questions about fall pruning are on the rise. Unfortunately, fall is not an ideal time to prune. This time of year plants are becoming dormant and are not focused on producing new tissue. Pruning creates an injury and plants need time to recover before going into dormancy. If you decide to prune in the fall, do so with care. Proper pruning involves making the appropriate cut at the time of year when the plant can seal the wound as quickly as possible. The best time to prune is in either late winter or early spring. Both are periods of rapid growth for plants. This does not however mean that you cannot prune in the fall. Pruning in the fall is an ideal time to prune dead, dying or diseased limbs. This type of pruning can be done at any time throughout the year.

Now is the time for autumn chores such as removing spent blooms, cleaning up the vegetable garden and planting winter annuals. Pruning is a task that is best left until late winter next year. Remember, the goal of pruning is to improve the overall health and vigor of a tree or shrub. Timing is everything! Feel free to call me at 901-752-1207 if you have any questions.

Enjoy the Thanksgiving season!

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