Landscape trees need proper care and management throughout their lives, and one of the most important tree management practices is pruning. When done properly, pruning can improve the health and structure of trees, and provide a safer environment for people, pets, and property. Pruning is more than just indiscriminately removing branches. Proper pruning includes knowing which branches to remove, when to do it, and how to minimize damage to the tree.
For those willing to plan carefully and timely, gardening can be very worthwhile experience come spring and summer. Winter is the best time to start planning your garden and get things ordered and organized. Here are certain topics to start thinking about.
The idea of creating a landscape plan can often seem overwhelming, especially for larger properties. The placement of trees, planting beds and lawns can feel like an unachievable puzzle. To begin it’s important to define spatial design vs. planting design.
This video explains proper pesticide application tips around small acreages and households, including sensitive area awareness.
Tall fescue is slowly becoming a more popular choice in Iowa. It turns green in the mid-spring and maintains color into late fall. Tall fescue has the highest heat, traffic and drought tolerance of the cool-season grasses. It is well adapted to wet soils, partially shaded sites and is often used where low-maintenance lawn is desired. Tall fescue will form a deep root system that is tolerant of clay and alkaline soils. Tall fescue also has a moderate tolerance of cold temperatures, but is suitable for a majority of Iowa winters below U.S. Hwy. 20.
At this stage of winter, trees on Iowa’s landscape are still months from blooming and providing shade, which makes this the prime time of the year to give trees a tune-up with pruning. Using proper pruning techniques avoids harming trees. Here are some tips from horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach on the proper way to prune trees in winter.