It’s time to start pruning your trees
Why prune? Since plants are made to grow well on their own, pruning means giving the plant ahead starts to help it grow stronger and lusher. Pruning is also a way to treat and prevent certain diseases, typical of this is the dead branches pruning.
The best time to prune our trees is at the end of winter. This is because they are without foliage and allows you to see the branches better. In addition, growth is not affected because there is no need for sap production, something that happens when it is in the full development stage, in spring and summer. On the other hand, there is no dissemination of certain fungi that can enter through the cut area. However, there are exceptions for trees that flower in early spring, which should not be pruned until after flowering.
Naturally, plants do not need pruning, but we can do it for our own benefit. Ornamental trees do not need drastic pruning just because winter has arrived, but maintenance pruning is only done depending on the condition of each plant.
There are two types of pruning: training and maintenance. If no training pruning were done and the tree was left completely free, it would surely have a slightly ornamental or "wild" appearance and that, in most cases, is not appropriate. Depending on the species, it will require training pruning. For example, a fir, sweetgum or, in general, ornamental conifers need minimal such pruning.
However, there is a basic rule of thumb which consists of: heavy pruning on old trees and minimal pruning on young trees in full fruiting. The older a plant is, the less vigorous it is and the more pruning it will need. With the branches of young trees, we will have to do the opposite: to balance growth and fruiting, vigorous branches should be shortened, while weak ones should be shortened. Keeping these two things in mind: the most vigorous branches are usually the vertical ones (where the sap flows the fastest) and the weakest are the horizontal ones and the curves.
Once we have a well-formed tree, that is, with the crown at a certain height, with its main and secondary branches chosen and well arranged, the growth of each plant will have to be controlled throughout the life of the specimen, if it needs one maintenance pruning.
In short, the advantages of a well-executed pruning bring many benefits, such as control of the trees size, reduction of risks for pedestrians and their properties, appearance improvement, structure and architecture of the crown improvement, increases the passage of light and air through the crown, stimulates flowering and fruiting, increases the value of the tree and its products, suppresses the sources of infection by pests and reduces the costs of fruit harvesting.