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Q.What do you mean by “severely cold weather” — e.g 32 degrees F or – 20 degress F?

Zone 55104 zone 4b Avg. Last Frost May 21 - May 31 | Anonymous added on October 16, 2019 | Answered

I appreciated Mary Ellen Ellis’ article on pruning crabapple trees. However, there is one thing I hope you clarify. She says:
The time for crabapple pruning is when the tree is dormant, but when the possibility of severely cold weather has passed. This means pruning should be done in late winter or early spring, depending on your local climate and temperatures.
Can you be more precise about this? Does “severely cold weather” mean freezing — 32F–or much colder than that, e.g. 20F? 0? -20F? (People like me who live in Minnesota may have a different sense of weather than people who live in more southern areas. For me, extremely cold temperatures means -10 or -20, but she might have had something else in mind.)
Thanks for the interesting and helpful website.

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Certified GKH Gardening Expert
Answered on October 17, 2019

She meant the severest part of winter should be over, according to your climate. You wouldn't want to prune in the middle of winter. The best time to prune would be the end of winter but before the tree starts to bud out in spring.


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