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I certainly do not! Maybe that should be my New Year's Resolution for 2024.

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Just because the leaves have all fallen and we've already seen several rounds of snow this season, that doesn't mean you can't still enjoy one of your favorite outdoor hobbies. That is, if one of your hobbies includes gardening.

Many Michiganders mistakenly assume that freezing temperatures are a sign their yardwork is done until Spring however that's not necessarily the case. In fact, winter is the best time to start planning and preparing your plants for their best season yet.

Kevin Sayers, Michigan DNR's Urban and Community Forestry program leader says,

The best time to prune most trees is in late Winter to early Spring before growth starts...That’s January to March in Michigan

winter pruning michigan

What Exactly is Pruning?

According to the Michigan DNR pruning is more than just chopping off old, overgrown parts of your trees and shrubs; it's actually a very important technique that helps improve the overall health and vitality of your greenery.

Winter actually makes the perfect time to prune your trees and shrubs as they are dormant; with no sap flowing this minimizes the after-effects and trauma of pruning. It's also a good reason to get outdoors and enjoy the crisp, fresh air!

How to Prune

Removing the sick or damaged parts of your trees helps ensure their longevity by stimulating future growth and fruit production-- but don't start chopping away without knowing some basics!

First, you'll want to make sure have the right equipment which can include pruning shears, long-handled loppers, and a pruning saw. It's also important to research the specific type of plant you'll be pruning, as different species require different degrees of pruning. The Michigan DNR suggests that you:

  • Observe your tree, notice what needs to be cut and what doesn't
  • Begin pruning by cutting off diseased, dead, or broken branches
  • Cut any branches that may grow or rub together
  • Work around the tree to ensure your pruning doesn't make it lopsided
  • Trim off low-hanging branches
  • Remove heavy or long limbs
  • Know when to call in professionals
  • Remember, less is more

10 Houseplants That Will Actually Survive Indoors During Michigan's Cloudy Seasons

If you're looking for a plant that will actually survive indoors in Michigan, check these out. They're perfect for the plant-challenged (like me).

These Michigan Plants Will Irritate Your Seasonal Allergies

Spring is where allergies run rampant here in Michigan and for that we can thank pollen...Specifically, tree pollen. Here's a look at the biggest culprits.

Gallery Credit: Maitlynn Mossolle


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