Q and A: Fall Pruning
Follow these tips on what to prune in the fall.
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Q: I know that pruning in the fall isn't good for some plants. What can be safely pruned now?
A: You're right. Pruning in fall can stimulate growth that won't have time to harden off before cold weather arrives. Also, pruning wounds may not have time to heal. Here are the general guidelines for routine pruning:
So what can you prune in fall? It's OK to remove diseased, dead or broken branches any time of the year and especially in fall, when allowing diseased parts to linger on a tree over the winter could just bring on headaches the next spring. Gardeners sometimes prune heavy bleeders like birches and maples in the fall if their sap would fall on sidewalks and patios. Also, the need to remove branches that could, if laden with snow or ice, interfere with power lines or structures, justifies pruning at any time, including fall.
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