Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Audio Play Icon Headphones Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

This member-only article is part of our All Access subscription.

Member only
Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

Your Guide to Winter Pruning

Improve the structure, health, and performance of your trees and shrubs through strategic cuts

Crossed branches should be removed from trees and shrubs. Photo: Michele Christiano

February is a wonderful time to get out into the garden and prune trees and shrubs for performance and aesthetics. There are several other reasons to prune in winter, such as removing dead wood, shaping a tree or shrub while its frame is still visible before leaves emerge, or keeping the plant healthy.

Prune dead wood and foliage

Damaged foliage
Damaged foliage on evergreens can be pruned now. Photo: Jennifer Benner

Diseased or dead wood can be removed from any tree or shrub at this time. Winter is a great time to do so, as the foliage is not in the way. Prune the dead wood at a point where the branch meets a larger branch or stem. If the branch is partially dead or diseased, it is best to prune the entire branch. Old stems on a multistemmed shrub should be removed at the base of the plant. Evergreens, such as…

This article is only available to All Access members

This article is available online for the first time ever exclusively for All Access members. Sign up for a free trial to access our entire collection of articles, videos, and plant records.

Start Free Trial

View Comments


Log in or become a member to post a comment on this article.

Related Articles

The Latest

Magazine Cover

Take your passion for plants to the next level

Subscribe today and save up to 44%

"As a recently identified gardening nut I have tried all the magazines and this one is head and shoulders above the pack."


View All