When is the Best Time to Prune Trees and Shrubs?

Pruning trees and shrubs is an important part of maintaining a healthy landscape. The best time to prune or trim trees and shrubs is during the winter months, when they have entered their dormant season. Most deciduous trees need to be pruned in late fall through winter, according to the Extension Service's Wisconsin Horticulture division. This is because it is easy to see the frame of the branches, and the activity of insects and diseases have disappeared.

As a rule, light summer pruning can be done on most deciduous trees and shrubs. However, a more intensive pruning should be carried out when the tree is inactive, preferably in late winter, before active growth begins. Trees such as maples (Acer) bleed heavily sap and should be pruned in winter while trees are dormant. Shrubs that bloom in spring, such as lilac and forsythia, bloom during the growth of the previous season and must be pruned within two weeks after flowering.

Pruning at any other time will reduce or eliminate flower display. There is never a bad time to remove dead, damaged or diseased branches. But most trees benefit from pruning in the middle or late winter. Pruning during dormancy encourages new growth as soon as the weather starts to warm up.

The lack of leaves after autumn allows you to easily identify branches and branches that require removal. Because the goal is not to change the size or shape of the tree, thinning must be constant throughout the tree. You only need to remove 10 to 20 percent of tree branches from the edge of the canopy. Large trees benefit from removing end parts of branches between 1 and 4 inches in diameter.

Small ornamental and fruit trees can be thinned by removing smaller branches between ¼ and ½ inch thick. You need to prune the trees to thin out the crown, so that the tree looks completely unpruned. It's also a good time to prune trees and shrubs because trees sit dormant in cold weather, winter is the ideal time to prune and shape them. No leaves, there's less on the way. This makes it easy to visualize the structure of the branches of a tree.

It is vital to perform this task before the weather warms up, so as not to reduce growth. Late winter and early spring pruning helps trees sink all of their precious energy to produce healthy new growth once the climate warms up. At any time between late autumn and early spring, it is better to prune or prune trees. In general, after the leaves fall and before the flowers appear, it is the ideal window. Shrubs that bloom in summer, such as potentilla and Japanese spirea, bloom in summer during the current year's growth.

Prune shrubs that bloom in summer in late winter or early spring. Pruned shrubs will bloom in summer during the growth of the current season. The goal of each is to create a tree with good light and air circulation, attractive qualities and strength. Usually, the pruning cycle of a tree is 3-5 years, but the species, size and health will determine the optimal cycle for your tree. Taking advantage of these months of inactivity gives me time to develop a plan for pruning and trimming trees in my landscaping. Generally speaking, shrubs and trees that bloom on a new growth should be pruned in the winter and early spring, while those that bloom on an old growth should be pruned in late spring or summer (i.e., after flowering).

Trees are preparing for dormancy back then, and all the good things are being removed from their leaves for storage, says Tchukki Andersen, staff arborist at Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) in Manchester, N. C. Regular pruning throughout the life of a tree reduces the amount of work needed and stress on the tree. Learning about those trees and their needs to stay healthy can add value to homes and add shade and beautification to the landscape. If you need to climb a tree to identify if the branches above are sick or damaged, call a professional to do the work safely.

The first two cuts remove the weight of the tree branch, and the final cut is designed for the best growth of callus. Waiting ensures that the tree is well established and is no longer stressed as a result of transplantation. Opening up canopy allows light and air to seep through entire tree allowing increased foliage reducing risk of disease. Tree branches are pruned for multiple reasons all resulting in better looking better yielding tree although trees grow naturally without pruning them this routine landscape maintenance allows your trees reach their full potential live long lifespan shaping trees can also improve light diffusion airflow into treetop or into someone's home or landscape.

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