Winter is the prime time to prune trees. Harmful fungus, bacteria and insect pests are less likely to infect a pruning wound during a tree’s winter dormancy stage. That means now is a good time for homeowners and landowners to get helpful advice on tree work they will be doing in the months ahead.

Area homeowners can get information at free tree pruning workshops in November and December in southwest Missouri being put on by Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) staff and local forestry professionals:

• Nov. 14: 6:30 p.m. in Greenfield at the Greenfield Community Building, corner of Toney Avenue and Park Street.

• Nov. 18: 9 a.m., in Joplin at Cunningham Park shelter near main parking lot off Maiden Lane. This workshop is hosted by the Missouri Community Forestry Council and will offer hands-on pruning opportunities. This will allow individuals to practice their new skills by pruning trees at the park.

• Nov. 27: 6:30 p.m., in Joplin at Wildcat Glades Conservation and Audubon Center, 201 Riviera Drive.

• Nov. 28: 6:30 p.m. in El Dorado Springs at the MDC El Dorado Springs Office, 1109 S. Main St. To sign up, come into our office or call, 417/876-5226.

• Dec. 9, 10 a.m. in Sheldon at the City Park Community Building, 6th Avenue and Main Street. This workshop is hosted by the Sheldon Community Betterment Association. After the instructional portion of the workshop, participants will be invited to join Association members and city staff in pruning the younger trees in the park.

Registration is requested, but not required for all these workshops. To register, or to get more information, call the MDC office in Joplin at 417-629-3423 or e-mail MDC Community Forester Jon Skinner at (link sends e-mail). For more on backyard tree care, go online to