Winter is a great time for pruning for a lot of deciduous trees and shrubs. The best time is late winter a few weeks before buds start swelling and sap starts flowing again. Then, when spring growth begins, the cuts have time and energy to heal during the growing season. Not all trees or shrubs benefit from pruning, or should be pruned, so before you grab your pruners do some research on your specific plants and trees. Working with a Landscape Designer is a great way to learn more about how to care for plants.
Generally speaking, you can prune trees and shrubs if they are deciduous plants that drop their leaves in fall, and, those that do not flower in early spring. Any that bud or flower in late spring and summer, are good candidates for winter pruning. We avoid winter pruning of spring-flowering plants because they already have their buds and to trim them away means missing out on a flowering season.
In general, the principle is, prune when the plant is asleep (dormant) and does not have buds. For more information, contact Allen Sidwell at Waterwise Design 619-513-0834.