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Proper pruning is no more work than poor pruning and a little knowledge can go a long way to making you feel good about doing it right. There are several reasons to prune trees and shrubs including improving health and appearance, shaping young plants, renewing older shrubs, and fixing safety issues.
When to Prune
As a general rule the best time to prune deciduous trees and shrubs is in late winter or early spring when they are dormant. Pruning at this time allows you to see the shape and interior of the tree so you can see what you are doing and there is less chance of disease or insect problems. Dead branches can be removed at anytime.
There are some exceptions.
Evergreens (conifers) require little pruning.
An important pruning task for homeowners is to prune young trees in their formative years (1-6 years).
Paul Richtman, University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener
For more information and to see diagrams of how and where to prune go to:
Pruning Trees and Shrubs - U of MN Extension
How to Prune Trees - USDA Forest Services
How to Properly Prune Deciduous Shrubs - University of Wisconsin Extension
Seasonal Care for Trees and Shrubs in Northern US Climates - U of MN Forest Resources
Posted by bart on May 18, 2008 8:06 AM in Information on Popular Topics