Dormancy makes late winter/early spring the best time to prune many shrubs and trees. The gardener can see the shape of the bare plants better, and the cuts are less disruptive than when the plant is growing. When full spring arrives, the plant will put energy into the new shape and desired size.
Though snowfall can transform our landscape in ways beautiful and wondrous, heavy snowfall can also cause astounding harm. Trees and shrubs broken under the weight of snow and ice need to have damaged wood carefully removed.
Mechanical damage is the most preventable of bark injuries because it is often due to impatience, inattention, or ignorance. Careless maintenance practices can damage trees that take decades, not weeks, to grow. While we cannot control the weather, which can cause irreparable bark injury, we can control what plants we purchase and where we choose to locate them—the right plant in the right place increases its chances of surviving weather extremes. Enjoy the amazing photographs in this article on preventing mechanical and weather damage to trees.
THE MYTH: The best way to disinfect pruning tools is to use a bleach solution.
A common and much-debated garden myth is that a chlorine bleach solution is the best way to disinfect pruning tools. So popular, in fact, that a Google search on the topic comes back with 1.7 million!