Residential Tree Maintenance Care - El Dorado Hills

Tree Pruning Tips: When Is the Best Time to Prune My Trees?

Tree Pruning Tips: When Is the Best Time to Prune My Trees?

Do my trees need to be pruned?

Sometimes trees require pruning to remove dead or diseased branches. Other times it is to maintain a structurally sound or visually appealing shape. Or pruning may be necessary to clear branches from overhanging the sidewalk or colliding with a roof or utility pole.

Whatever the reason, pruning is the most common tree service required, and homeowners can plan on needing tree pruning once or twice a year. Here are some tree care tips for when to prune your trees.

When is the best time to prune trees?

Pruning is more than just a haircut for your tree. Each cut has the potential to alter the growth pattern of the tree, as well as introduce pathogens that can cause disease. The optimal time of year to prune your trees is when they are dormant, in late winter/early spring before they put out new buds. This gives the wounds a chance to heal before spring growth. Disease-bearing insects are also dormant during this time, so they are less likely to infect the pruned tree in late winter.

For deciduous trees that lose their leaves, pruning is much easier in winter. It is much easier to see the branches without the leaves to block your view, so you will do a much better job in winter once the trees are bare.

An exception to the late-winter rule is if there is a hazard, like dead branches or coconuts that are at risk of falling. Prune those immediately.

Can I prune my trees during other times of the year?

Spring pruning should be to trim up the tree a little; major restructuring should take place in winter. Certain trees contain a lot of sap like maples, birches, walnuts, and conifers. Pruning these in the spring when less sap is flowing will make for a less messy pruning job. Do not remove over 10 percent of the tree’s branches, however.

Trees that bloom in the spring can be pruned once their flowers fade. This includes species like crabapple, dogwood, lilac, cherry, apricot, plum, and some others. If you don’t mind the sap, conifers can be pruned year-round.

Can I prune my trees myself?

Cutting a low branch that hangs over the sidewalk or lightly thinning the crown of the tree with some pruning shears are fine DIY projects. However if your tree is tall or needs substantial pruning, we recommend calling a tree service. Remember, each cut you make alters the growth pattern of the tree. Poor pruning can result in weak branches or introducing fungi or diseases.

If you are in need of tree pruning service, give Tree Removal Arborist a call. We will do a free, onsite evaluation of your trees and take care of the tree pruning and removal for you. Our certified arborists have the training and education to ensure that your trees get the proper care they need to bloom beautifully and thrive.