The effect of pruning on Cold Hardiness

I only occasionally prune my trees late winter to early spring (usually I prune in the summer to control size) when there’s no rain in the forecast for at least 10 days. Well, the weather forecasts are normally 10 days anyway…

It turns out, aside from less incidence of infections the tree can survive the deep freezes much better too! Although we actually don’t have the deep freezes here in our area. But it is good to know.


This is interesting information .
I think the old adage " prune when your shears are sharp "
Still applies.
If a person only has a few tree to prune,… Waiting until late winter to do dormant pruning may be advisable .
I never have the time to get all my trees pruned to my liking ,no matter when I start.
And I have not noticed any winter damage from pruning here.
Granted I am not in the far north (West Virginia ), the weather is odd these days.
I was pruning yesterday in my “t” shirt , which is very unusual for this time of year.more comfortable than a foot of snow.
Then I remembered reading the above article , and it made me wonder.?
Again , I have not had any problems in the past,so I just do what I can, when I can.
I say this mostly to comfort people that may be shy to prune after reading the above article.
The important thing is to get your trees pruned. Each site has different weather. So each may need its own timing .
I agree with Joe about summer pruning , that is the time to get control of those trees, I am just sooo. Busy in the summer. Hard to find the time

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Have others here noticed damage from pruning befor a. Cold spell. ?
Please tell…

here in the far north our winters are cold and very dry, was 7% humidity today. fall pruning will almost always weaken or kill a tree ,not just because of it not hardening off but from desiccation. i prune only in early spring before bud swell.

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I thought the article was full of loose suggestions. Definitive conclusions are based on tightly controlled experiments and when they threw in nematodes and soil pathogens their attempted conclusions became iffy and supports weakened.
I would take @moose71 advice if I lived in his area. Best pruning practices are most likely local.

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I think much of the confusion is due to the term “Fall” pruning. I read some of the old papers and they say things like “wait until the leaves are at least yellow before pruning”. This is not “winter” pruning when the trees are truly dormant. If the trees start to try to repair the pruning damage before the winter there is not time to harden off before the truly cold temps come. Here in Vt. we do not normally see temps in the 50’s or 60’s in the winter so the wounds just dry out without any attempt by the tree to heal them. A few years ago we had an abnormally warm fall and the Jap plums pushed out some late growth which did not have time to harden off which froze, but the trees were fine.