Pruning Trees in Fall

Why You Should Wait


Tree pruning is an important part of regular maintenance. Removing a dead or diseased branch could mean the difference between preventing it from falling and causing damage or having the disease spread. However, pruning trees in fall is not recommended unless it’s for dire, preventative reasons. Find out why.

Pruning Trees in Fall

When you prune a plant, you’re not only removing problematic branches or reshaping the overall structure. You’re also motivating the plant to use energy to heal the wound and regrow what’s lost. These are all benefits to pruning. But it’s also why fall is not the time of year to prune.

During fall, trees drop their leaves in part to store energy for surviving the winter. Plants are preparing for dormancy, meaning they’re in survival mode, not regrowth mode like in the spring. So not only will plants not be able to heal wounds as fast, but any regrowth will be too weak to survive the winter. Basically you’re nullifying the benefits and potentially making more problems for your plant.

Trees with open wounds are open to disease and decay. Weakening a plant is not ideal in any situation, but especially before heading into a season that’s hard enough for strong plants to survive. Even if there are already signs of decay, pruning in the fall creates another wound that won’t be able to heal fully before winter arrives. If you wait to prune in late winter, at least you’re giving the tree a better chance of bouncing back.

Pruning Like a Pro

While pruning has great benefits to help saving and maintaining your tree, it can also do significant damage if done in the wrong way. Ideally, you want to wait to prune until the late winter when the tree is dormant. This will motivate the tree to grow going into spring. New growth deserves the chance to become established, thus more resilient to harsh weather.

If you think a tree is in desperate need of pruning any other time of the year, it’s best to consult a professional tree care company. A pro has a better idea of what the tree can handle, especially after giving it a thorough evaluation. Contact Elite Tree Care if you’re considering any type of pruning this fall. If it needs to be done, at least get it done right so you and your plant reap some benefits.

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.