Planning a Tree Pruning Timetable

Know When and What to Cut

Four season tree

Now that spring has fully sprung, your trees are blooming, the grass is growing, and you may think it’s a good time to get outside and get to work! Not so fast. Not all trees and shrubs should be trimmed right away. Put together a tree pruning timetable plan to help you keep track of what to cut and when.

Tree Pruning Timetable Plan

Timing is everything when it comes to pruning. It can help keep your plants healthy or stunt their growth when done at the wrong time. Use these tips for pruning at different times of the year.

What to Prune in Early Spring

Now that it’s growing season, you want to make sure you prune the right things to get the most out of your plants. Here’s what to focus on this time of year.

Ornamental grasses. This is not your regular lawn, which also needs mowing by now. Any fancy grass, like reeds, that you have around your garden can be trimmed by tying the tops for quick and easy cutting. Then snip as close to the ground as possible.

Semi-woody perennials. Help produce strong new growth by cutting back these plants—like butterfly bushes—to a few inches tall.

Broadleaf evergreens. Prune any injured foliage from boxwood and holly, but wait for the summer to do any hedging.

Summer-blooming flowers. Remove any dead, damaged, or crowded stems on trees, shrubs, and vines that bloom later in the season. This helps maximize the number and size of flowers for plants like roses and hydrangea.

Early Summer Pruning

Some plants perform better when pruned later in the season.

Evergreen shrubs. It’s time to hedge, thin, and shape juniper and boxwood just as it starts to show new growth so it’ll cover cut tips.

Spring-flowering shrubs. Once these plants have already bloomed for the season, prune forsythia, rhododendron, and lilacs to control size and shape.

Pruning in the Fall

As the leaves start to change, it’s a reminder that some plants require your attention.

Sappy trees. Since these trees will ooze sap in winter and spring, wait until summer or fall to prune maple, birch, dogwood, walnut, and elm trees.

Flowers. Pruning the dead blooms off perennials and annuals helps extend flowering and may even inspire a second bloom. After the first frost, cut back the area and mulch well to prepare for next year’s growth.

Winter Pruning

Once the trees go dormant for the winter, it’s the perfect time to prune. There’s less of a chance for disease and insect infestation, and a bare tree makes it easier to see what you’re doing. Remove any dead, damaged, or overlapping limbs from most deciduous trees and evergreens.

Professional Tree Pruning Timetable Plan

If you’re unsure how and when to prune any specific plant, contact the experts at Elite Tree Care. We can help you plan the right time to care for your lawn and garden year-round, and we’re here to help if the job becomes more than you can handle.

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.