When is the Best Time to Prune Trees: Autumn or Spring?

For most trees, the best time to do a major pruning is from late winter to early spring, as this is when wounds close. Many people believe that pruning trees in autumn is the perfect time of year, but this could damage or even kill your trees. It is best to wait until all the leaves have fallen and the trees are asleep, usually in October or November. Pruning during the right time of year for flowering shrubs or overgrown fruit trees will help plants produce more flowers and fruits when spring comes back.

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. To prevent any damage to your trees, it is best to wait until all the leaves have fallen and the plants are completely asleep before pruning. This will give them the ability to have a better structure and resistance to spend the winter until next spring without any damage. Certain species of trees, such as maples (Acer spp.), should not be pruned in winter or early spring as sap drainage can have a negative effect on tree growth.

Knowing when to prune trees keeps them healthy in the long run and sets them up for a robust growing season. 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. To prune shorter trees yourself, look for tree clippers with long reach poles so you can keep your own feet safely on the ground. Trees heal faster when pruned at the right time, so by the time spring comes, your tree will be happy and healthy again. If you can't identify your trees or don't know their special characteristics and value their good health, it's best to research or leave the pruning work to tree experts.

Qualified tree care specialists are pruning trees every day throughout the year without many detrimental effects. Trees that get the right amount of pruning when young will need less excessive pruning as they grow.

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