The Best Seasons for Tree Pruning & Trimming

The Best Seasons for Tree Pruning & Trimming

Why is tree pruning and trimming so important? Because of the impact this maintenance has on your tree’s health and well-being. This may tempt you to get to work on your trees right away, but your landscape needs different things done at different times.

Light pruning and the removal of dead wood can be done anytime – as pruning and trimming helps remove dead or broken limbs and helps keep your tree healthy – but there are rules of thumb for seasonal pruning and trimming. Here are some guidelines for seasonal pruning.

Winter tree pruning

It is recommended that you wait until a tree is dormant before pruning. This typically occurs between autumn (after the leaves fall from the tree) and spring (before buds start to appear). By pruning or trimming while your tree is dormant, the result is a hearty burst of new growth in the spring. However, if your tree shows any signs of loose limbs, remove them prior to severe weather such as heavy snowfall or ice. The added weight can put you, your property and others in danger. Click here for more tips on caring for trees in winter.

Summer tree pruning

While winter pruning is more favorable due to the dormancy of trees, summer pruning and trimming has its benefits. Dead and damaged limbs and branches should be removed prior to inclement weather. Diseased limbs and branches should be removed immediately to block the disease from spreading throughout the tree. Fruit trees are best pruned in the summer to reduce the spread of disease. Summer is also a great time to do structural work to trees if they are not balanced.

Late-summer dormancy for plants

Many perennials, woody plants and plants native to Minnesota naturally go dormant later in the summer when water is scarce. They prefer to be thinned or reduced in size before the heavy rainfall that can come in late autumn and winter. Many late-spring flowering plants, if pruned just after bloom and before setting seed, can produce a second bloom. Any time you remove ripening seed from a perennial, it will store more energy for the following season. Directing new vigorous growth after bloom on aggressive plants such as wisteria can save a lot of winter work.

Trimming tips:

  • Never prune or trim limbs on your own if they are too high to comfortably reach. Your safety is a priority. That’s why tree care companies like Ostvig are here to help with your year-round tree trimming and pruning needs. Contact us to learn more!