I know you don’t want to think about this–it’s cold outside, after all–but now would be a good time to start pruning your pine trees. They’re waiting. You might as well bundle up and get it over with.
What are we trying to accomplish here, you may grumble. Well, since you asked, pruning will shape a tree into something beautiful with a structure that has integrity to better withstand the effects of wind, snow, and other weather conditions that damage branches. And by removing dead or diseased wood, you will make a tree healthier. Don’t forget your gloves, by the way.
Photography via Niwaki.
Above: The first step is to get rid of the clutter. Suckers are thin branches that sprout haphazardly from a trunk or larger support branches; they make a tree look like it has a Sideshow Bob haircut.
Prune older trees lightly and reserve your greater enthusiasm for shaping younger, more malleable trees. .
This is an update of a post originally published January 2, 2013.
Finally, get more ideas on how to successfully plant, grow, and care for pine tree with our Pine Tree: A Field Guide.
Interested in other types of trees? Get more ideas on how to plant, grow, and care for various trees (specimen, deciduous, evergreen) with our Trees: A Field Guide.