PRUNING OF SHADE TREES
Light pruning and the removal of dead wood
can be done at any time; but, pruning during dormancy is the most common
practice. It results in a vigorous burst of growth in the spring. Wait
until the coldest part of winter has passed before you start in. You will
want to remove branches that leave the trunk at too narrow an angle,
in-growers, any watersprouts and suckers, rubbing branches, branches that
will soon be an obstruction, and double leaders.
In summer, to direct growth, remove
branches above a bud which is facing the direction that you want the tree
to grow. Do this after the seasonal growth is complete. Also, in summer,
you can prune for corrective purposes. You can eliminate dead limbs or
ones that hang down too far under the weight of leaves.
In fall, it is not wise to prune because
fungi spread their spores profusely in fall and healing of wounds is
slower. In the case of storm damage, prune immediately regardless of the
time of year.
Remember to keep your pruning equipment
sharp and to use household bleach to disinfect your pruning tools before
each use. Always check with your county extension agent to learn about any
local problems that would affect pruning. (708-298-3502) For more details
about pruning, call the Plant Clinic at the Morton Aboretum.
(630-719-2424). You can also visit the Tree Body Reference File at the
Palos Park library for illustrated instructions.