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Here's a list of reasons why you should prune your trees.
 Late fall or winter is a good time to prune deciduous trees.  Pruning is a practice that changes the form and growth of a plant.  Pruning is also considered preventive maintenance.  Many issues that a tree or shrub may have can be corrected at an early stage of the plants life.

There are four major reasons to prune.

The first reason to prune is to promote plant health.  Dead, decaying, diseased, insect infested or other damaged limbs are the first cuts that should be made.  Branches that are rubbing together should be removed next.  Topping trees does not promote a healthy tree.  The stubs that are left actually cause health problems to the tree and destroy the natural shape.

The second reason to prune is encourage flowering and fruit development.  A rule of thumb when pruning ornamental shrubs is that if the shrub flowers early in the spring wait until after it has flowered before pruning.  All other deciduous shrubs can be pruned now.

The third reason to prune is to provide an attractive landscape.  The most attractive landscape is the plant’s natural form.   Do not shear shrubs into geometrical forms.  When a plant is pruned correctly it is difficult to tell that they have been pruned at all.

The last reason to prune is to provide safety in the landscape.   Branches that are dead should be removed to keep from falling.  Hazardous trees should be taken down by experts.  Branches that hang over the house or parking lot should be evaluated to determine if they could fall and injure people or property. 

Please keep safety in mind when pruning.  Always contact experts when power lines are present.   Don't be afraid to call in experts for jobs that are too big.

Watch the entire "Tree Pruning Workshop"

 hosted by the Summersville Forestry Council, the WV Division of Forestry , and the WVU Extension Service.