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When Is the Best Time to Prune a Tree?

Updated: Jul 8, 2022

Pruning a tree is done for many reasons, including the removal of deadwood, encouraging new growth, establishing better structure and the removal of hazards, to name a few. Regardless of the reason that applies to you, it’s important that the proper pruning methods are used, so that you achieve the desired results.


The best time to prune a tree varies depending on why you need to prune in the first place. The removal of deadwood and light pruning can be done at any time throughout the year but certain purposes require a specific season for optimal results.


Pruning during dormancy is ideal if you want a burst of new growth in the spring. If this is your goal, pruning during fall is best because it’s during this season that the leaves will fall making it a lot easier to see the branches. This will help you achieve structure and form that will become evident once spring arrives.


Pruning during the winter will help prevent diseases from spreading. You do not have to complete your pruning tasks on the coldest days during the dead of winter but some pruning between November and March will help your trees remain disease-free. Fungal diseases can spread, and in some cases, can even kill a tree, so pruning during this season while they’re dormant is best because you will avoid attracting beetles and any other insects that can spread diseases.


Spring is the ideal time to prune fruit trees because this is the perfect season that will help encourage new growth while maintaining their shape. Certain spring species prefer to be pruned after the blooms have dropped including lilac, magnolia, and redbud. Leafless branches can be dealt with during the summer when it’s easy to see things clearly and deadwood is noticeable a lot more easily, making it the perfect season to remove it. Cedar hedges in particular are best pruned in the summer; otherwise, you may see browning foliage that will occur if you prune during the spring.


Certain exceptions apply, including storm damage which should be dealt with right away regardless of the season. Once a tree has been damaged in a storm, you must prune it as soon as possible so that you prevent further damage and so the tree can possibly be retained. Any hazards should be removed right away and you need to make sure the tree is not at risk of falling.


Knowing how to prune a tree properly is extremely important; otherwise, you will do more harm than good resulting in a lot more problems. Professional assistance is highly recommended and Arbor Care Tree Service Inc. can help with tree trimming, pruning, and tree removal in the Mississauga and Oakville areas. If you need a skilled arborist who can provide pruning services and do the job safely, contact them today!


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