Spring Tree Pruning

Some Do’s and Don’ts


Looking forward to seeing your trees and plants bloom this spring? Well, before they do, you may want to think about spring tree pruning first. Here are some do’s and don’ts to remember.

Spring Tree Pruning Do’s

The best time to prune most trees is when they’re leafless. This helps you see more damage, disease, and decay. Catch them while they’re still dormant in late winter/early spring. Once they start budding and blooming, check to see if your specific type of tree will be harmed by additional pruning.

  • Cut off any broken, defected, or damaged limbs of newly planted trees, then learn how to properly prune them to improve structure.
  • Minimal pruning can be done to remove branches that help to shape your tree.
  • No matter what season, it’s always important to remove any dead, dying or decaying branches to keep your tree, people, and property safe.
  • Prune maple, walnut, and birch trees in late spring or early summer. When pruned in winter, they tend to ooze sap. Trimming these trees after they have all their leaves for the season reduces sap bleeding.

Prune these trees once they’re done blooming for the spring season:

  • Apricot
  • Chokecherry
  • Crabapple
  • Dogwood
  • Flowering cherry
  • Flowering plum
  • Juneberry
  • Lilac
  • Magnolia

Spring Tree Pruning Don’ts

There are some reasons certain trees shouldn’t be pruned in spring at all.

  • Pruning in spring can limit some trees bloom potential for the year.
  • Trimming in spring—typically a wetter season—also creates cuts that leave trees more vulnerable to an insect infestation or disease.

Don’t prune these disease-prone trees until winter:

  • Oak
  • Elm
  • Sycamore
  • Honeylocust

Whatever you do, don’t remove more than 10 percent of the tree’s branches at any time of year. For more pruning do’s and don’ts, contact Elite Tree Care.

Tree Pruning Guide

Download Your FREE Tree Pruning Guide

Learn how, when, and how much to trim or prune your trees to maximize their health and beauty. This guide covers the factors that go into tree trimming (pruning) and will help you make a more informed decision about hiring a professional tree service.