February is an ideal month for pruning

Published 12:00 am Friday, February 3, 2017

SALISBURY — What is February known for? No, I am not thinking about the holiday where you get chocolates and flowers.

What February is known for to horticulturalists is that it is one of the best months to prune. Here at the Cooperative Extension office, we receive calls almost every day asking when is the best time to prune fruit trees, flowering shrubs and trees. There are a few exceptions but for the majority of plants, February is one of the best months to prune.

Pruning is a necessary task that needs to be done for many plants to maintain health, flowering ability and fruit quality. Cooperative Extension hosts numerous pruning workshops throughout the year, and there are quite a few coming up in Rowan and surrounding counties.

One coming up in Rowan County is a tree care workshop that will teach how to properly select, plan, prune and care for your landscape trees. It will be held on March 4 from 10 a.m.-noon at Horizons Unlimited, 1636 Parkview Circle. The program is free to the public, but registration is required. You can register by visiting go.ncsu.edu/rowantreeworkshop or calling 704-216-8970.

To properly prune blueberries, two classes are being offered in the nearby counties of Davie and Davidson. The classes will be on Feb. 22 and 23. On Feb. 22, the course will be held in Davie County and on the 23rd, the course will be held in Davidson County.

Each class is from 1 to 5 p.m., and there is no fee to attend, but registration is required. To reserve your spot, you can call the Davie County office at 336-753-6100 or the Davidson County office at 336-249-7300.

At this course, you will learn the proper techniques to prune your blueberries from Cooperative Extension staff and North Carolina State University Blueberry Specialist Bill Cline. These classes are in high demand, so please register early to save your spot.

If you are interested in pruning your trees and shrubs yourself, Cooperative Extension also provides numerous brochures and guides on how to properly prune. As always, pruning is necessary for practically all fruit-bearing plants and trees. Without pruning, you reduce the quality and sometimes the quantity of fruit you receive. Pruning also helps maintain the health of the plants by removing dead, diseased or damaged limbs to prevent accelerated decay.

February through early March is the best time to prune your fruit bearing shrubs and trees. If you would like more information on any of the programs or brochures mentioned in this article, call or email your local Cooperative Extension agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970 or danelle_cutting@ncsu.edu.