When to Stop Tree Pruning

And When to Start Again

tree pruning

Does it seem like yard work is never done? Between mowing the lawn, watering the garden, and pulling the weeds, there’s always something to do. Good news is, there is a time when you can stop tree pruning. Read on to learn when enough is enough.

When to Stop Tree Pruning

A tree requires maintenance just like any other plant in your garden. As a living thing, it needs water, food, and sun to grow. While it’s more vulnerable at a young age, there will come a time when it doesn’t need as much attention and when you should stop tree pruning.

Stop before you start. If you know you need to prune some branches, take the time to ensure your tools are clean and sharp. If you’ve been pruning around a diseased tree, you don’t want to contaminate healthy branches. You also want to make clean cuts, and sharp blades are better at this task.

Can’t reach all the branches? Stop. If you’re considering using a ladder to reach a spot too high to access from safely on the ground, don’t do it. Call a professional instead. You don’t want to risk injury of yourself or the tree.

If there’s pruning to be done, stop trimming before you remove 30% of the tree. Taking too much off, especially from the top, makes it harder for the tree to recover and continue to grow properly.

There’s no need to prune for the sake of pruning. If there’s nothing dead, diseased, or damaged you can save yourself the hassle, especially if it’s not the right time of year.

The Seasons to Stop

Unless there’s something wrong with your tree—like dead, damaged, or diseased branches—you’ll want to leave it alone in the fall. Since pruning stimulates growth, try not to prune before the start of harsh winter weather that will kill any new buds. Harness the tree’s regrowth energy in the late winter, right before it’s bound to start blooming again in the spring.

The only thing you don’t want to prune in late winter is any spring-flowering plants. Chances are you may reduce the number of new blooms. It’s better to wait until after the plant has bloomed in the spring to do any pruning.

Not only can cutting at the wrong time cut back on bloom and growth potential, but it also opens up the tree to certain diseases and pests. Any open wounds that can’t heal fast enough become breeding grounds for disaster. When garden bugs are active in the warm months, it’s better to relax in the shade of your tree than to try and cut the branches back.

For more tips and information on the best time to prune your trees, contact Elite Tree Care.

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.