Most trees hit a dormant phase in the winter, and this can be a good time to do some pruning. Here is a look at the perks and pitfalls of dormant pruning.

Perk: Dormant pruning is not going to lead to the spread of disease. 

Dormant trees are likely not going to have sap dripping from the branches, and any parasites or pests that may be normally on the tree may be obsolete during the winter. This is a good thing because you won't risk spreading tree disease by trimming during this time of year. 

Pitfall: It can be harder to see the shape of the tree. 

It is pretty amazing to consider just how drastically a tree changes in appearance when all of its leaves fall off. Yes, the lack of leaves can make it easier to see the branches, but it can also make it a little harder to gauge the shape of the tree when it is actually coated in leaves. A few too many cuts and you could end up with a chunk taken out of part of the tree when the leaves come back. This is one reason why it is a good idea to entrust tree trimming to a team of professionals who know what they are doing.

Perk: It's not going to be such a mess to clean up. 

One bonus of pruning trees in the winter months is the fact that the trees do not have any leaves on them, which can make it a lot simpler to actually do the trimming, but it also makes it an easier cleanup job when you get done. You will not be left with a pile of leaves; you will only have to pick up the branches and sticks. 

Pitfall: It can be harder to tell which branches are dead or dying. 

When a tree is in its dormancy phase in the winter, it takes on a more greyish hue overall as chlorophyll production slows and the tree sort of goes into hibernation mode to conserve its energy. This naturally means it can be a little harder to see which branches are dead or dying in the colder months than what it will be in the spring. It is fine to do some light pruning, but it is best not to go trimming off a bunch of branches you believe are dead because they may not actually be.

For more information, contact a local tree service.