When is the best time of year to prune trees? The answer depends on a number of factors but most importantly your pruning goals and the tree species? This article will provide some guidelines on when to prune different species to reduce disease spread, and to explain the most common pruning practices for each type of tree. However, an in-person consultation with an arborist is needed to ensure the right timing and proper pruning procedure is implemented based on your desired result.
Winter is the best time to prune ash trees to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer. If you are actively treating the tree to prevent emerald ash borer, you can prune anytime. However, when possible, we suggest sticking to the winter months to help minimize the risk of spreading the disease, because the insect is inactive during those months.
Flowering trees and shrubs such as dogwood, cherry, magnolia, plum, and rhododendrons should be pruned after they have flowered and lost their buds for the season, typically around early to mid-summer. This reason is to ensure maximum bud growth for the following season and allow the tree to provide lots of full blooms. Pruning flowering trees and shrubs after September is not harmful, it just means new buds will be pruned off resulting in fewer blooms the following spring.
Most conifer trees do not need a lot of pruning, and it is not suggested to heavily prune these trees. However, like all trees, conifer trees require pruning to remove dead, damaged, or diseased limbs, as well as structural pruning to remove, crossed branches and reduce canopy weight. The following is a general guide for the best time to prune different types of conifers.
Crabapples and pears can be pruned anytime, but January and February is the most common if the goal is fruit production. Pruning in the winter months reduces fruit buds and promotes new tissue which improves the quality and size of the fruit. It also helps to reduce the chance of fungus infection which can be common in these trees. If your goal is to produce more flowers and you don’t care about the quality or size of the fruit, then you should follow the flowering tree guidelines.
Broad leafed trees, also known as shade trees, include maple, oak, birch, ash, beech, hickory, and tulip to name just a few. Shade trees require pruning to remove dead, damaged, and diseased limbs, as well as structural pruning to remove crossed or redundant branches. Thinning the canopy can provide a healthy structural branch habit and reduce canopy weight. Pruning for simple limb removal or deadwood can be done anytime, but winter months are best if you want significant reduction and thinning.
Pruning your trees can give you peace of mind and ensure you can safely enjoy your outdoor activities. At Marquis Tree Service, our professional arborists are ready to do the work for you and provide exceptional service. If you’re looking for tree pruning services give us a call, we strive to provide a clean, safe, knowledgeable, and friendly experience.
You can request a free quote by filling out our online form or simply give us a call at 781-860-9618.