Fall Tree Pruning

Why You Should Wait


This may be good news for some gardeners: fall is a great time to procrastinate. Here’s why waiting for fall tree pruning is best.

Waiting for Fall Tree Pruning

Fall is not the ideal time to prune trees. Yes, the weather is still relatively warm and you’re already outside raking some leaves, but you should still leave your trees and shrubs alone. Why?

  • Pruning wounds heal slower in the fall.
  • Open cuts leave plants more open for fungal diseases.
  • Pruning stimulates new growth, which won’t have a lot of time to establish itself before it gets cold.
  • More pruning may need to be done in the spring to correct the problems caused during the fall.

What to Prune in the Fall

If you must prune in the fall, at least wait until all the leaves have fallen. The tree will go dormant around this time, preparing for its long winter nap. Plus, it’s easier to see what needs pruning without any leaves on the tree. Signs of disease, insects, and structural issues have no place to hide.

If you find any such issues, these are the only examples of what should be pruned in the fall. Getting rid of dead and diseased branches is the exception at any time of the year.

When’s the Best Time to Prune

For most trees, any major pruning—like thinning the crown and cutting a large limb—should wait until late winter to early spring. Wounds close faster during this time, and any new spring growth will hide pruning cuts.

Whenever you decide to prune, you should always do so safely. Remember that if you can’t reach the branch you want to cut, call in a professional. They can also help with heavier branches, tree removal, and any other pruning project you’re not prepared to take on yourself.

Contact Elite Tree Care for more information about why waiting for fall tree pruning is best.

Tree Pruning Guide

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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.