Benefits of Winter Pruning

Although it may seem that spring and summer are the seasons when a lot of attention is paid to landscaping, winter can be quite beneficial to your landscaping goals as well. Harsh winter conditions may make for potentially unpleasant conditions in which to work, but the benefits from winter pruning are indeed noted.

Perhaps the most notable benefit of winter pruning is that trees are dormant during this time. Dormancy is a period in which there is no active growth of a plant in response to adverse conditions. Regarding trees, this is a means by which to survive the frequently adverse conditions brought on by winter, including snow or ice, frigid temperatures, and decreased precipitation. When a tree is pruned during the dormant season, the pruned areas tend to recover before new branch and leaf growth occurs in the spring. There is also less chance that the tree will wilt due to an excessive loss of water. This is because less water is needed and, therefore, lost when a tree is dormant.

The effects of winter pruning are frequently and especially visible when spring arrives. This is because pruning during the winter months fosters more vibrant springtime blooms from flowering trees, as well as more numerous and healthier fruits from fruit-bearing trees. Providing care to your trees during the winter can reap great benefits by springtime. An Austin tree trimming specialist can help you determine how best to prune your trees so that great results are achieved.

Another benefit of winter pruning is that by the time winter arrives, the tree has already lost its foliage. Without the leaves impeding view, determining which branches to prune becomes an easier process. When the crown of the tree is exposed, one can more easily determine which branches to remove or shorten. If present, dead branches can be more readily identified as such and removed from the tree. Of course, the likelihood of personal or property damage is lessened when dead braches are removed from a tree. Additionally, if proper care of pruning tools and equipment is taken, diseased branches can also be identified and removed. The chances of spreading the disease to other viable trees are decreased when pruning occurs during the winter months. Consult an Austin tree removal professional to help determine whether or not specific branches may need to be removed for the overall benefit of a tree.

There are considerable benefits to pruning your landscaping trees during the winter. With a little careful forethought and attention, there may be some spectacular results from all of your efforts when spring rolls around!

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit

Using Your Landscaping to Support Wildlife During Winter

Most who take a vested interest in the landscaping of their lawns recognize the value of doing so. They carefully weigh the options for species of trees (or shrubs) to plant, the ideal location for planting them, and the efforts necessary to maintain them. With careful planning and maintenance, the end result is usually aesthetically appealing. With some extra effort, however, landscaping trees can serve a dual purpose. Landscaping can be environmentally friendly by supporting wildlife throughout the harsh winter months.

Because food for wildlife is scarcer during winter, consider adding trees or shrubs that bear food year-round. Consider crabapple or holly, which continue to fruit during the winter. These two trees provide food for wildlife during a time when many other tree species have stopped producing. Bear in mind that it isn’t just birds that are supported by winter-thriving landscaping. Other wildlife also benefit. Deer thrive on the fruit of American holly or hawthorn, or the nuts from oaks, hickories or beech. Wild turkey feed on the fruit of the highbush cranberry. Like deer, squirrels, too, can weather the winter months by feeding from nut-producing species.

Consider using your landscaping trees to support wildlife by buying or building a feeder and hanging it on the trees. Add wild bird seed to help them locate some easily attainable sustenance. Do online or library research, or consult a wildlife agency, in order to learn about the various seeds birds will eat, as well as recipes to make a homemade suet ball. To help feed any squirrels, or to keep them out of your bird feeder, consider making a feeder for them. It can be easily attached to a fence or, if you don’t have a fence, attached to a free-standing post. You can purchase squirrel feed at local department or pet stores or make your own homemade blend. Be sure to include dried corn, sunflower seeds, and some shelled peanuts.

Your landscaping can also support wildlife by providing them with shelter. Consider landscaping trees with cavities as an eco-friendly tree. The cavity provides a natural inlet of protection for trees or squirrels. Evergreen trees whose branches are low to the ground offer additional protection from winter’s bitter cold and winds. In fact, trees or shrubs of any species with dense branching offers this same protection to a multitude of wildlife. If, at any point, branches hang on the ground or too low for your personal liking, contact an Austin tree trimming specialist to assist you in making the tree more sightly. Also, if they exist, areas of your landscaping that may seem less than ideal can be beneficial to wildlife. Rock or brush piles which haven’t yet been attended to can be disguised by planting a shrub in front of it. Doing so hides the eyesore factor while providing shelter for wildlife to ride out the winter. A fallen tree offers the same winter protection. However, should you wish to remove a fallen tree when warmer weather returns, an Austin tree removal specialist can assist you.

If these natural sources of shelter are unavailable through your landscaping trees, consider purchasing or building a birdhouse to hang from your trees, add to a fencepost, or place as free-standing on your lawn.

These are a just a few ideas to consider to help maintain a beautiful landscape while supporting wildlife during a particularly critical time in their survival. For additional ideas about using your landscape to support wildlife, consult an arborist or local wildlife societies.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading provider of Austin tree services in Central Texas. Certified ISA Austin arborist services including: tree trimming, tree removal, tree care and stump removal. For more information on Austin tree service please visit