When Is it Time to Prune Your Trees? A Guide for Homeowners

Having trees on your property can make your home feel like a peaceful oasis. They provide shade, beauty, and fresh air. But to keep them looking their best, they require maintenance. Proper tree care includes the important practice of pruning, which plays a vital role in maintaining tree health and fostering robust growth. However, knowing when to prune can be a bit tricky, especially if you are a new homeowner. Here's a guide on when it's time to prune your trees and how to do it right.

Fruit Trees

If you have fruit trees on your property, pruning should take place after the harvest. This is because fruit trees produce flowers and fruit on new wood, so pruning after fruiting allows for new wood to grow before the next season. Pruning during the dormancy period (winter) can also help remove any diseased, damaged, or dead wood.

Deciduous Trees

Deciduous trees, like maple, oak, and birch, should be pruned in late winter before new growth appears in spring. Pruning in late winter allows for better early-season root development and encourages spring growth. It's best to prune deciduous trees when they are dormant because they won't bleed sap, and the tree's wound will close faster.

Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees, like pine, spruce, and fir, should be pruned just before the new growth appears, likely in late winter or early spring. Pruning during late winter or early spring is a beneficial practice that can revitalize trees and promote vigorous new growth. This is because evergreens don't have a dormant period like deciduous trees, and pruning while new growth is starting to appear won't harm the tree.

Young Trees

It's important to prune young trees early on to shape their growth. You want to create a balanced and sturdy branching structure that will support healthy growth in the future. Young trees can be pruned any time of year, but it's best to prune them during the dormant period when it's easier to see the tree's structure. Prune young trees by cutting back the leader branch to a lower branch that is heading in the desired direction.

Get Professional Help for Large Trees

If you have large trees on your property, it's best to hire a professional tree pruner. Large trees are difficult and dangerous to prune, and there's a risk of injury or property damage. A professional arborist will have the experience, knowledge, and equipment necessary to prune trees safely and effectively.

Contact a local tree pruning company to learn more.