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Pruning Trees & Shrubs

March 20, 2013

Weekly ag column by Mike Boersma, County Extension Educator with the U of M Extension Service in Murray and Pipestone Counties
Spring is right around the corner. For those with spring fever who want to take advantage of the warmer days when we get them, there is good news: late February through early April is the best time to prune many varieties of trees and shrubs. By pruning during the late dormant season, you will leave fresh wounds on these plants for only a short time before the new growth begins during the spring. In addition, pruning during this time allows you to do so while there are no leaves on the trees, reducing the visual obstruction while you are pruning.

There are many reasons to prune plants, including promotion of plant health, improving plant appearance, and protecting people and/or property. For example, plants may be pruned to remove dead or dying branches or to thin the foliage to improve airflow and prevent fungal diseases. Plant appearance can be improved by trimming back over-grown shrubs, removing unwanted branches, or to manipulate the shape and general appearance of the plant.

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