Roses and fruit trees go dormant in the winter, making it the best time of year to prune. Plant structure is most obvious when there are no leaves, and you can easily identify branches that are growing in toward the canopy, crossing branches, and diseased or dead wood that need to be removed. Creating space between branches is important, as it allows for air circulation and keeps moisture from becoming trapped and encouraging fungal growth on tender leaves in the spring.
Winter is also prime time to prune the tips of fruit tree branches to keep the tree at a manageable height. Doing this keeps fruit within reach without the need for a ladder when the time comes to harvest. When pruning, make sure to cut at a slight angle just above an outward-facing bud.
Remember, in addition to being important for plant health, pruning also invigorates your plants, making it the surest way to get fantastic blooms in the spring and delicious fruit in the summer!