This time of year is ideal for the following treework:
pruning in general… in the winter dormant season, pruning is safer and cleaner. Pruning cuts are less likely to fall victim to bacteria and fungus. Insect activity is low or gone. Structure (in deciduous trees) can be easily seen and enhanced. Hazards and damage can be more easily seen.
planting… the dormant season provides a great window of opportunity to install new species or more favorites. At this time, trees are the least susceptible to damage, stress, and lack of water (important in newly planted trees) as long as we have typical mild Victoria weather. If the ground freezes lack of water and a “hard” dig may be deterrents.
deadwood & hazard removal… with winter comes the odd storm and cold/brittle conditions. Wind, freeze/thaw action, and a combination of storms with brittle wood may cause trees to drop dead, diseased, dying, or damaged components (branches/stems).
renovation… With deciduous trees, missing foliage (leaves) provides great structural viewing. Steps can be taken to renovate, improving structure and tree health, and/or achieving desired results.
fruit trees… Again, for reasons stated above, an ideal time to get your fruit trees in shape. As with all things, there are varied opinions on timing and theory, and I continually shape my theory. Depending on the situation and tree, I am becoming more inclined to perform heavier structure pruning, and health (dead, diseased, dying and damaged) pruning in the dormant season, while leaving sucker growth (vertical reaction growth following damage or pruning) pruning until mid-summer. There are a few reasons for this, including decreased sucker growth the following season.