Pruning deciduous trees is a great winter task. The trees are dormant and the branch structure is visible. Dead stubs from previous bad cuts and broken branches should be nicely cleaned up.
Soon the trees will send sap up the tree and a new season will begin. I can't wait for spring!
Reminder: there are many dangers in landscapes and uncapped used syringes is one of them. We encounter this on lower-budget sites and many wild green site margins.
Years ago, one of my managers (ironically the company safety coordinator) worked downtown Vancouver. She reached into a clump of daylilies which was, unfortunately, stuffed full of used needles. She pricked her hand and had to go through a full year of medical testing for HIV and hepatitis. This was distressing both for her and her partner.
Oh my, it seems like every site has a horror show. This poor Acer has very little room for its roots, no access to rain water other than splash, it's desperately reaching for sunlight so it can feed itself and the surrounding pavement most likely heats up in summer; it sports many stubs from poor pruning cuts.
Planted in the wrong place, the tree is hanging on. This is a common problem: people fail to consider the mature size of trees before planting. Shade-loving shrubs might be better here.
Vas Sladek, B.Sc., CLT
Red Seal Journeyman Landscape Horticulturist and ISA certified arborist