Can You Prune Your Trees in the Spring?

March 12, 2019
March 12, 2019 Ryan McFadgen

Can You Prune Your Trees in the Spring?

According to the calendar, spring officially begins next week. But you might already be seeing some signs of spring in your own yard, and you’re ready to get things spruced up and looking cheerful. So, if you’re wondering about pruning trees in the spring, read on to discover what you should and should not attempt at this time of year.

Generally, it is better to prune most trees during the winter, when they are leafless. That’s because their growth cycle is dormant, and deep pruning can be performed without harming the tree. But there are certain exceptions to this rule.

Safety. If a limb is broken or overgrown to the point that it is hazardous, it needs to come down regardless of season. Otherwise it could pose a falling danger to nearby structures or even people.

Shaping. If a tree is looking overgrown and messy, you can trim it back by about ten percent. Avoid taking off more than that, though, or you could damage the tree or limit leaves and buds this season.

New trees. If you’re planting a new tree, go ahead and prune away any dead or damaged branches. This helps to ensure a stable and attractive form as the young sapling grows.

Certain species are more easily pruned in late spring or early summer. Maple, walnut, and birch trees tend to ooze sap and make a mess if you try to prune them in the winter. Pruning trees in the spring, after they have all of their leaves, will reduce this problem. But again, this only applies to the aforementioned species.

If the above situations don’t apply, then hold off on pruning trees in the spring. Many species will be left vulnerable to pests and diseases if you trim them right now, and you will also reduce leafing and flowering.

Or, you can give us a call and we’ll be happy to advise you on the best times to trim back excess branches, shape your trees, and improve health and safety.


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