Summer Tree Pruning Techniques
Best Practices for the Season
June 15, 2017
Typically, tree pruning is best left to the seasons when the tree is dormant—after it’s shed it leaves and before new buds start to grow. However, there are certain tree pruning techniques you can follow during the summer.
Tree Pruning for Safety Reasons
If branches hang low in high traffic areas, blocking the sidewalk or causing a hazard, these branches should be cut. Any storm damage to a tree should be taken care of quickly, especially if there’s a chance further damage could be done to buildings or people close by. Try to only prune what has to be pruned immediately, and save any further work for winter. Whatever work needs to be done, the later it is in the summer, the less of an impact it will have on the tree. So, if pruning can be delayed, great. If not, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Minor Tree Pruning
If it takes till the summer for you to notice any dead, dying, or diseased parts of your tree, it’s best to remove those sections as soon as possible. Salvage as much of the tree as you can for it’s continued growth. Removing more than a quarter of the leaves at one time can drastically impact the health of the plant. Remember, any time you prune a tree, make clean cuts. It’s easier for plants to quickly seal off the wound.
Proper Tree Pruning Techniques
Summer may be a better time to prune trees for the following reasons:
Controlling growth. Most home gardens don’t have space for full-sized fruit trees, so summer pruning can help reduce the size and stamina of these plants. Shorter trees are easier to harvest and maintain. Plus, opening the canopy allows for more airflow and sunlight to get to the lower fruiting branches. Pruning also allows easier access for natural predators to eat pests.
Disease prevention. Certain trees—like apricot and cherry—are best pruned in the dryer summer season. This can reduce the spread of a fungi caused when freshly pruned branches absorb too much water. Summer pruning on fruit trees also promotes more blossoms the following spring.
Dormant summer plants. There are some plants that naturally go dormant later in the summer when water is scarce. This is the time to thin out the branches or reduce the plant in size before the late fall and winter rains.
If you’re still not sure if this is the best time to prune your tree, call the Elite Tree Care specialists at 610-935-2279 with your situation and questions.
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