Fall Tree Pruning Tips

What to Know & What Not To Do


Trees sure know how to attract attention this time of year. As the season transitions, many trees show off their ability to strike a colorful pose. While the focus may shift to trees and their leaves, you should wait until those leaves drop before thinking about these fall tree pruning tips.

Fall Tree Pruning Tips

Summer and early fall are not the time to heavily prune a tree. There are some exceptions, including removing any broken, dead, or diseased branches. Any other major pruning should wait until the dormant season. Why?

  1. Open wounds heal slower in late summer and early fall, putting your tree at risk for fungal disease.
  2. Pruning stimulates new growth. However, it won’t have time to harden before harsh winter weather sets in.
  3. Once the leaves have fallen, it’s easier to see what you need to prune.

So, if you want to prune in the fall, at least wait until later in the season when all the leaves have dropped. The tree has also started going dormant at this point. It’s easier to see the structure of the tree and where any problem spots may be.

Better Pruning Practices

If you can wait a little longer, late winter is a more optimal time for major pruning. Once the tree is fully dormant, open wounds are less of an issue. Waiting closer to spring also means you’re stimulating tree growth in time for its active growing season.

Pruning at the right time means less work trying to fight against pests and decay resulting from pruning too early. Plus, it gives you more time to enjoy the tree in its colorful glory. Raking up the leaves should keep you busy enough this fall.

One of the best things you can do for your tree is to hire a professional arborist to do the job. Not only does a trained professional know the best time to prune, but they also know the proper techniques to help ensure the tree stays healthy through the following season.

You also want help removing any large limbs, high branches, and anything close to structures. Trying to prune in these precarious situations could end up costing you more in the long run. Contact Elite Tree Care for more information on the best way to go about fall tree pruning and for additional tips on maintaining your yard this season.

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.