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Ornamental tree trimming

Sally Asked

Is it OK to trim my ornamental crab apple tree now? I started in the spring, but didn’t finish the job!!
Thank you for your help.

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The Gardener’s Answer

Hi, Sally: Save this job for the late winter or early spring unless you are removing suckers or dead/ diseased branches. Otherwise, prune before the crabapple breaks dormancy and new growth begins next spring. Cutting back now could make the tree vulnerable to winter damage. These ornamental trees do not require much pruning except to shape and remove dead branches and suckers. Be careful not to remove more than one-third of the branches while pruning. If excessive branch removal is necessary, it is best to do so season after season; this will reduce the amount of stress. For now, be sure that the area around the tree is free of any plant debris. A thin layer of mulch will help insulate the roots during the colder temperatures.

Angie Oakley

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