Spring Pruning

Many of us gladly welcomed spring and warmer temperatures following a historic winter that included cold temperatures, strong winds and loads of snow. All of these conditions can potentially damage trees and shrubs causing loss of foliage, weakened structure and diminished health. Here’s what you need to know to assess and restore any damage to your landscape:


Needled and broad leaf evergreen trees are the most susceptible to winter storm breakage due to the year-round foliage. In many cases, the damage may be obvious after a storm such as broken or fallen limbs. However, a professional consultation is needed to determine the overall tree health as some damage cannot be visually easy to identify. For example, an arborist may detect damaged areas in the tree invisible to the untrained eye. Signs of tree damage may include:

  • Stubs or fresh breaking of wood
  • Misplaced limbs or tops that don’t look symmetrical
  • Upheaval or disturbances at the base of the tree – root damage possible
  • Anything that looks out of the ordinary compared to the fall season
  • Limbs held down or buried in snow


Shrub damage will most likely be the most common in Lancaster County. Shrubs may look destroyed or heavily injured, but with proper care, should grow back and recover. We suggest surveying all of your plants and take special care in inspecting shrubs for damage.