Food for Thought

Rhus typhina: Staghorn Sumac

Rhus typhina: Staghorn Sumac












With a foot of crusty snow on the ground and a wind-chill around two degrees, many of us may not be thinking about trimming our trees and shrubs. But serious gardeners and landscape maintenance staffs are. Late winter, before plants burst into spring growth, is generally an ideal time to prune. This is especially true for deciduous plants, whose architecture is clearly visible once they’ve shed their leaves.

But don’t worry if you’re not inclined to start your gardening season wearing snowshoes. There are lots of berries and seeds on those plants, and this is a critical time of year for the critters who depend on them. It’s slim pickings out there! So consider it an act of wildlife protection to put off until tomorrow what you might do today.

We’ll talk about pruning in the coming weeks. For now, I recommend a cup of hot chocolate and a pair of binoculars at your kitchen table. You can watch the critters feast while you contemplate your pruning strategy.

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