A chill is in the air, leaves are falling, plants are no longer blooming, and everyone is anxiously awaiting winter’s arrival. Now that you’ve put away or covered your lawn furniture, it may seem like there’s nothing else to do outside until next spring. However, that’s an incorrect assumption. The cold autumn and winter months are often the best time to practice Dormant Pruning.

What is Dormant Pruning?

Dormant Pruning is a style of pruning trees and shrubs during a period that will cause the least amount of stress to the plants. In the Northeast, the cold winter months can be the best time to perform the routine maintenance of dormant pruning. That’s because plants are in a “resting” phase, usually starting during the autumn season and extending until early spring. 


By working with an ISA Certified Arborist, you can prune damaged tree limbs, elevate low limbs, shape canopies, clear vistas for added sunlight, and reduce extra “dead” weight prior to snowfall. 


Plus, Dormant Pruning is known to increase the shrub or tree’s lifespan by not allowing it to grow beyond its space. Keeping vegetation properly pruned, all year round, helps to ensure the plant remains healthy and vibrant for the long-term. 


Keep in mind, Dormant Pruning only applies to “deciduous” trees or shrubs which are plants that typically lose their leaves, flowers, nuts, or fruits. For example, evergreen trees or bushes that don’t go through that process shouldn’t be pruned during winter. On the other hand, you can practice Dormant Pruning on deciduous trees like maples, oaks, and birches. 

What are the Benefits of Dormant Pruning?

Although winter may not be your favorite time to do lawn maintenance, most trees and plants are very receptive to pruning during colder months. That’s because plants are resting and storing their energy after an intense time of growth during the summer. Plus, most of the diseases and pests that affect trees are also dormant. So, Dormant Pruning lowers the chance of spreading pathogens and pests among other plants to nearly zero. 


How  Dormant Pruning can Benefit your Landscaping

When is the Best Dormant Pruning Period? 

Dormant Pruning is traditionally performed between late November to mid-March.

Usually the temperature in New Jersey averages between mid-30s to upper-50s during this time of year. This is the normal hibernation period for lots of plants and pruning during that time. 


Remember, heavy pruning during the growing season of spring or summer could put your plants under added stress. That’s because the bush or tree is flourishing with new growth during the warmer months. If a large amount of the plant is pruned during the winter, while the tree or bush is dormant, the plant’s overall energy reserve will remain unchanged. 

Professional Dormant Pruning Services 

Dial Environmental has spent more than 35 years providing their professional services to five New Jersey counties: Essex County, Morris County, Somerset County, Union County, and Passaic County. Our long-time customers appreciate our high quality lawn and plant care, as well as effective pest control techniques. 


Let our experts improve the health of your trees and shrubs by dormant pruning. Contact us today to schedule an appointment or learn more about dormant pruning.