When Should I Prune My Trees?

When Should I Prune My Trees? - Landscapers

You should prune your trees for a variety of reasons: to remove dead, broken, or diseased branches, and to remove undesirable branches that are too long or too low. Pruning your trees at the wrong time can lead to sick trees and even more dead branches, but you may be asking, “when should I prune my trees?” For all trees, you should prune branches when the weather is dry and rain is not in the forecast for a few days. Pruning in moist weather can cause disease in the tree. Also, avoid pruning in overly hot weather. 70-degrees is ideal.

Choosing the right time of year to prune depends on the type of trees:

Spring Flowering Trees

Prune trees that flower before June 1st immediately after flowering. If you prune later into the summer it could hurt the following season’s bloom.

Summer Flowering Trees

Trees that bloom after June 1st can be pruned any time, but avoid pruning in the heat of summer when bugs are active. You may also trim these trees after each bloom to promote flowering next season.


Allow evergreens to grow freely in late spring and early summer. Then in late summer you can trim back 50-90% of new growth. Be careful not too cut into older wood. Prune evergreens every year to promote more compact growth, allowing some new growth to remain each year. Do not prune evergreens in late summer or early fall because new growth will be prone to winter damage.

“Sappy” Trees

Trees such as maple, birch, and dogwood should be pruned in late summer or early fall. Pruning them in the spring will not hurt the trees, but there will be a very heavy sap flow at that time.

Deciduous Trees

You can prune these trees in the spring or summer (depending when they bloom) but you can also prune deciduous trees in the winter. With the leaves off, you can easily check for damaged branches.

Additional Help

Consult a professional landscaper if you are unsure of the types of trees in your yard. Use TalkLocal anytime to find reliable landscaping professionals in your area. Just type in what, where, and when you need help and TalkLocal will connect you with up to three local professionals in minutes!

One Response to “When Should I Prune My Trees?”

  1. Luke Smith says:

    I have a neighbour that has a tree that is hanging over my property. I’ve asked if it can be pruned since one branch could crush my car if it falls. I wonder if some of the branches on it were taken off would it lighten the load. I’m sure a professional tree company could do that quickly. http://www.arbormantreecare.ca/en/our_services.html

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