Hamilton, Dundas, Ancaster, Stoney Creek, Brantford, Brant: 905‑529‑5612

Burlington, Waterdown: 905‑637‑1919

info@beswicktreeservice.com

Is There a Recommended Schedule for Tree Pruning, and How Should I Do It?

The answer is, "it depends"

No two trees are the same and no two trees require the same type or frequency of pruning. 

That said, we offer some practical rules of thumb to help you decide what types of trees you should consider pruning at different points in the year. As always, we recommend getting in touch for a free on-site assessment from one of our ISA-certified arborists. Together, we can craft a custom pruning program or schedule through our Tree Maintenance Program.

Winter (Late Dormant Season)

Yes - we work in the winter! In fact, pruning your tree in the winter is one of the safest and best times to prune your tree. During winter, deciduous trees are in a state of dormancy. This means they are not actively growing, and their metabolic processes slow down. Pruning during dormancy minimizes stress on the tree, as it can allocate resources to wound healing without the demands of new growth.

  • Deciduous Trees - Prune during late winter when the tree is dormant. This period allows for the identification of the tree's structure, and the lack of leaves provides a clear view of branches. 
  • Fruit Trees - Late winter is often recommended for fruit trees, especially before the buds start to swell. 

Spring (Pre-Bloom)

While spring is suitable for certain pruning tasks, it's essential to consider the specific needs and characteristics of each tree species. Some trees, especially those susceptible to certain diseases or pests, may have optimal pruning times outside of the spring season.

  • Flower Trees and Shrubs - Prune right after flowering to avoid removing buds that formed during the previous growing season. 
  • Summer-Flowering Trees - Prune in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. 

Summer (After New Growth)

Contrary to popular belief, summer is not the optimal time for extensive pruning, as it can place stress on trees during their active growing season. However, there are specific situations and types of pruning that may be appropriate in the summer. We would advise you to get in touch to discuss your specific situation. 

  • Deciduous Trees - Summer is suitable for corrective pruning, such as removing water sprouts or unwanted branches. Avoid heavy pruning during this time. 
  • Evergreen Trees - Light pruning can be done in the summer. 

Fall (Late Season)

Fall can be a great time to perform certain types of pruning, with considerations for the specific goals of each tree species. Heavy pruning, especially on mature trees, should be approached with caution in the fall. Removing a significant portion of the canopy during this time may result in stress and reduced energy reserves for the tree - just as they are entering winter dormancy. 

  • Deciduous Trees - Prune in late fall once leaves have dropped. This period allows for structural pruning and removal of dead or weak branches.
  • Disease-Prone Trees - If your tree is susceptible to diseases spread by insects, fall pruning can be beneficial as pests are less active. For example, trimming Oak trees in the fall/winter is a perfect time due to Oak wilt.   

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We serve homes and businesses located in Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Dundas, Burlington, Waterdown, Brantford, and Brant County. Call us today for a free on-site assessment by one of our ISA-certified arborists!

Hamilton, Stoney Creek, Ancaster, Dundas: 905‑529‑5612
Burlington, Waterdown: 905‑637‑1919

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