Are your trees and shrubs looking scraggly, unkempt, or displaying visible dead branches this Winter?

You can prune during the winter, you just need to be aware of a couple of things and learn the correct techniques.


Late winter blooming Cherry tree advertise the do's and don'ts of winter pruning

In this podcast episode, 32 – “Winter Pruning Do’s and Don’ts,” we’ll explain why you should prune, how to best prune during the winter, and what not to do.  

This episode is meant for any level of gardener who wants to learn how to prune in their yard this winter.  

For our “Prune Like a Pro” free cheat sheet, click here!


The Do’s and Don’ts of Winter Pruning

Yep, that’s right! You can totally prune during the winter months.  You just need a little know-how and some tips on how to actually do it.

What pruning is and how to do it this winter …you can read this article for some more detailed info.

First, we need to talk about what you are doing when you prune your plants.

When you prune any plant, you are redirecting energies of that plant to other areas where growth can occur.

Of course, the old cliché “timing is everything” holds true even when pruning.


If you would like to get a primer on other garden maintenance tasks you should be doing, read our garden maintenance page for more.


So to prune this winter:

  • DO prune if you see any dead or dying plant tissues.
  • DO prune if you also see rubbing or crossing branches in the plants canopy.
  • DO Prune if a plant needs to be shaped or reshaped.


  • DON’T prune any plant that is not healthy enough.
  • DON’T prune any plant that hasn’t finished flowering.
  • DON’T prune if the temperatures in your local area are still at or below freezing.
  • DON’T prune if your plant is stressed.


For plants that bloom multiple times during a year, be sure to only prune after they have completed a blooming cycle.  You won’t disrupt them in the middle of their reproductive cycle that way.

By the way, these Do’s and Don’ts follow our 3-Pillars of Pruning System, which we are getting closer to publishing as an eBook, so keep an eye out for it in the next month or two.

For a primer,  The “3 Pillars of Pruning” you can click here!



Some things to keep in mind:

  • Never cut more than 1/3 of the plant away or you can get severe root die-back.
  • Before you make your pruning cut, track the stem or limb back to where you want to make the cut and try to imagine the plant without that material.  If you can’t imagine the plant without this material you want to cut out, then don’t do it. Maybe look to cut only half of the limb and then reassess.


Check out our tool list of reviewed and recommended tools by reading our posts called the Best Pruning Tools for 2019 and the  7 Best Garden Tools for your Winter Pruning Needs! 


Winter Pruning Do’s and Don’ts Conclusion

If you choose to prune this winter, you now have some foundation knowledge to start cleaning up and shaping your plants.

Each plant species can react differently to pruning and depending on how the plant grows, its environment, and its health will determine how it redirects its growth.

Always check the 3-Pre-Qualifiers before pruning any plant and be sure to follow our 3 Pillars of Pruning system!

Have fun pruning your plants and remember to be safe!


That’s all for this podcast episode!

You can find other episodes and topics on our podcast page at

On Instagram or Pinterest under @SpokenGarden (all one word) to follow or leave us a comment.

Find us on your favorite podcast platform and Alexa through MyPod or AnyPod!


[convertkit form=5253351]

And hey—before you head out—if you want to connect with us and subscribe to our newsletter go to Spoken Garden’s free resource page!

We have FREE garden content we are so excited to give to you, like cheat sheets, plant profile sheets, etc! See you there!

Thanks for Listening!!!


Share Your Thoughts:


To Help Out The Show:

  • Leave a review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews really help us out!
  • Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify.

Late winter Cherry tree blossoms and pair of loppers with text overlay in Spoken Garden's podcast advertisement

Click the graphic above to save “Winter Pruning Do’s and Don’ts” to Pinterest for later!

*Spoken Garden is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to


Subscribe on iTunes

Today’s Topic: 

Winter Pruning Do’s and Don’ts

Learn why you should prune in the winter, how to prune, and what not to do.


Show Notes

How to Prune Like A Pro Cheat Sheet in our free resource library.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Why you should prune during the winter
  • How you can prune during the winter
  • Best practices for pruning in the winter
  • What NOT to do regarding winter pruning


Some of the resources and products below may be affiliate links, meaning we might get paid a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you use that link to make a purchase.

Other Gardening Products Related To This Podcast You Might Not Have: