Declutter your garden with a good pruning before spring
Pruning tangled, bare branches can help boost fruit production by allowing more air and sunlight into trees
Amidst this cold, wet and grey weather, some plants are starving for some attention.
Winter can be a prime time for pruning and Master Gardener Brian Minter has tips to help you cut through some of the damage the season may have caused.
The window of time between mid-January to the end of February when growth starts on local trees offers the opportunity to get rid of the weak, dead and diseased branches.
Minter says this offers more air to flow through the tree, making it more resilient against damage.
"Also in terms of fruit production, more sunlight comes in so the tree actually is sturdier, better growth, cleaner without a lot of algae, lichen and so on," he toldB.C. Almanac guest host Lien Yeung.
'Let the buds pop'
For the flowering trees and bushes — magnolias, flowering cherries, Japanese azaleas and rhododendrons — he recommends waiting to prune to enjoy the bright blossoms.
Evergreens can use a good cleaning this time of year to prevent big branches from snapping in the case of late season heavy snow.
"With the exception of spruce and pine … the pine trees produce candles, let those candles evolve in the spring, and the spruce. Let the buds pop and then you can prune," he said.
Having the right tools is a must when diving into a good clean up, and he recommends getting a strong pair of loppers for the bigger branches to avoid breaking sheers.
"When you've done pruning in your yard, it's like great house cleaning, the place just looks so much better but the trees will be stronger."
Listen to B.C. Almanac every Thursday for more gardening tips and tricks from Master Gardener Brian Minter.
With files from B.C. Almanac