Pause on Pruning - Cold Weather Ahead!

Monday, January 30, 2023

If there are any pruning activities ongoing, please be advised that the forecast now predicts significantly cold weather on Friday, February 3. The recommendation is to stop pruning and wait for the cold weather to pass.

The concern with the upcoming cold snap is how rapid the temperature will shift toward very cold temperatures. Rapid temperatures swings involving 20C shifts in temperature to a relatively cold temp of around -20C can be damaging.

Pruning before a cold snap increases the risk of damage. Pruning stimulates the metabolism of the trees and causes an immediate decrease in cold hardiness that increases tree sensitivity to low temperatures.

Lower the risk of tree injury by pausing your pruning activities until after the cold snap.

If you would like to revisit the insights from Dr. Richard Marini in the Orchard Outlook podcast from Dec 15, 2021, check out "E2 S3. The Coolest Chat about Early Dormant Pruning".

Figure 1: Symptoms of winter injury on Gravenstein from winter 2022.

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