The Quick Tree Pruning Timeline

A Brief Look at What to Trim When

Four season tree

Once the leaves have fallen completely from your tree, you may be wondering if now’s the time to start pruning. Before you pick up the pruners, take a look at this quick tree pruning timeline to make sure your plant is ready.

Quick Tree Pruning Timeline

There are certain times of the year that are best for pruning certain types of plants. Pruning the wrong thing at the wrong time can mean not enjoying beautiful blooms in the spring or summer. However, not pruning the right thing could also have disastrous results.

So, what can you prune and when?

Anytime. Whenever you see broken, dead, or diseased branches, get rid of them. These weakened limbs become hazardous, especially during storms.

Fall. Fall is not the ideal time to prune, since pruning will reawaken the plant to want to grow right before it should be storing energy for a dormant winter. However, once the frost kills off your annual plants, it’s time to get rid of those from your garden. You can also cut back the dead parts of perennials which should grow back next year.

Winter. Most trees go dormant in the winter. This is the time you can do any major reshaping needed to rebalance a weakened tree. Since all of the leaves are gone, it’s easier to see what branches are crossing or broken. Remove these to help strengthen the plant.

Tree Pruning in the Spring

Since so many plants should be pruned in early spring, this gets its own section. Here’s a list of what to reshape this season.

  • Summer-flowering trees and shrubs. These plants will focus their growth in the newly cut areas and you’re less likely to remove any new buds.
  • Evergreen shrubs or hedges. Reshape before any new growth emerges. Trim shrubs from the bottom up. Shorten branches by cutting them back to a lower branch beneath an overhanging branch to hide the cut
  • Fruit-bearing trees and shrubs. Open up the interior to allow more light into the crown and promote better fruit production.
  • Roses. Cut anything that’s died over the winter.

For plants that bloom in the spring, wait until after they’re done flowering and have dropped their blooms.

Professional Pruning Timeline

If you still have questions about the best time to prune your plants, contact the experts at Elite Tree Care. So many different plants have different techniques to consider for optimal growth. Ask a pro who knows about the specific growing cycle and the best way to go about making your first cut.

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.