When you think of winter, most of us do not think of landscape maintenance. And yet, there are some critical steps to be taken during this time. Your lawn and perennials will be dormant and slumbering under the snow. But when it comes to trees and shrubs, we can take advantage of this dormant period to perform our most aggressive pruning.   

Trees and Shrubs 

In late fall or early winter, be sure to protect your more tender evergreens such as arborvitae and newly planted spruce, among others. Covering with burlap cloth to protect from wind burn is an effective method. Additionally, spraying with an anti-desiccant spray will add another layer of protection. For areas prone to rabbit and deer, tree guards are your best defense. As winter progresses, the need for food will drive critters to seek out new food sources. These new sources include tree bark and spruce tips.  

Winter is also a great time to prune. Any trees or shrubs (including fruit trees) needing heavy pruning should be pruned in the winter. Prune trees to maintain shape and structure. The exception to this rule is any spring-blooming tree or shrub. Winter pruning will remove spring flowers. These trees and shrubs should be trimmed after the bloom has finished, typically in the summer.