Spring Tree Pruning Guide

Tips and Tricks for Seasonal Care

spring tree bloom

Come on, spring! If you’re a lawn and garden lover, your favorite and probably busiest season is about to arrive. It’s now the best time to prune most shrubs and trees. See our spring tree pruning guide below for some of the season’s best tips and tricks.

Spring Tree Pruning Guide

First, you may be asking, why now?

  • Most plants are waking up from their dormant season.
  • Before they fully restart the growing process, it’s best to evaluate their current state while you can still see it clearly without foliage in the way.
  • Also, you want to make any adjustments to the overall plant shape right now. This way, it can focus on growing in the spring instead of trying to heal from any major changes and pruning cuts.

However, you may notice some plants already have a few new buds on their branches. These are typically flowering plants that should have been pruned after their flowers started to wilt and die last year. Be careful not to cut them while pruning, unless you don’t want them to bloom.

General Pruning Tips

Before you break out the pruning shears, make sure you have the following tips in mind:

  1. The sharper the tools, the cleaner the cut. If you use dull blades, you run the risk of tearing the branches and making a ragged cut that’s more prone to disease.
  2. Check the weather. Try to prune on a mild, dry day for your sake and the plants. This helps prevent any contraction or spreading of waterborne diseases or damage from cold temperatures.
  3. First remove any dead and diseased branches, especially those caused by the winter weather.
  4. Next, remove any unwanted lower branches on evergreen shrubs.
  5. Remove any overgrown and smaller branches to increase light and air at the crown of the tree.
  6. Make your cut at the node of the branches, or the point where one branch attaches to another.
  7. Don’t leave any stubs behind. These will typically decay. Not good for any healthy plant.
  8. For larger limbs and branches, prune by making three cuts: the first is a small slit on the underside of the limbs being removed. This helps keep the bark from peeling down the trunk. The second cut is just beyond the first one, this is to remove the limb. The third cut is to remove any stub left behind. This helps speed up the healing process.

The ultimate goal is to keep any structural branches of the tree, allow light and air to flow from crown to soil, and don’t hurt yourself or the plant in the process. This may be where a professional comes in.

Professional Tree Pruning

If you can reach all the branches while stable on the ground, go for it. If questionable branches are too tall to reach, call a pro before climbing a ladder with any sharp object. This is especially true for any trees and branches close to utility lines, homes, and other potential hazards. If you’d rather leave spring tree pruning in the more than capable hands of a professional, contact Elite Tree Care. With the expert insight and proper tools, we’ll help trim your trees to get them ready for their favorite growing season.

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.