What are the Best Times to Prune?

Date October 01, 2020


Author TreeNewal Staff

Are your trees starting to look misshapen and as if they need to be pruned? Do you want to spruce up the appearance of your trees by pruning limbs that seem to be growing every which way, decreasing from their aesthetic appeal? Do you have broken or dead limbs that you want to trim off your trees? If you answered, “Yes!” to either of these questions, you’re probably wondering when is the best time to prune trees.

Well, we’re here to be the bearers of great news! Tree pruning can begin as soon as trees enter their dormant stage and their leaves have fallen – which is usually around October or November – and tree pruning can continue all the way up to early spring. Are you curious why you need to wait for tree pruning season before you can prune your trees? Keep reading to learn more about why it’s important to wait for fall to come before you prune your trees, and why you shouldn’t prune trees out-of-season.

Why Should Trees Be Pruned in Fall to Early Spring?

Tree pruning is an important annual tree care task. However, you should know that even though tree pruning is necessary to give your trees a great shape and promote proper tree growth by removing broken or dead limbs, tree pruning leaves minor trauma wounds to your trees at their pruning sites.

During trees’ dormant seasons after their leaves have fallen – which is from around October or November to early spring – these tree wounds are likely to heal on their own without any impact on tree health. However, if you prune trees unnecessarily in late spring, summer, or in early fall before leaves have fallen, you could negatively impact your tree and leave it open to developing a tree disease or pest infestation. There are other reasons to avoid out-of-season tree pruning, too.

Here is why you should wait until October or November for tree pruning:

  • Late Summer and Early Fall Tree Pruning Can Cause Tree Regrowth that Can’t Be Sustained During the Winter

Tree pruning stimulates new tree growth. That’s one of the reasons it’s an important annual tree care task and one that we’re proud to offer Dallas area homeowners and commercial properties. However, if you prune trees in late summer or early fall before a tree’s leaves have fallen, the tree can start to regrow at a time they can’t sustain. This is because the new growth won’t survive the upcoming, cold winter, and new branches will likely die. As a result, you’ll just need to re-prune these dead branches again in early spring.

  • Tree Wounds Close Too Slowly in Early Fall, Making Them Susceptible to Tree Disease and Pest Infestations

Open tree wounds make trees susceptible to developing tree diseases and pest infestations. Tree wounds close more slowly during the early fall, leaving trees pruned too early at risk for these health issues. By waiting to prune trees until after their leaves have fallen, you’ll reduce the risk of tree disease and pest infestation. As an added plus, because the trees won’t be lush and full of leaves, it’ll be easier to spot tree problems when they are pruned between late fall and early spring.

  • Certain Tree Diseases are Untreatable

You now know that tree disease can happen if you prune trees out of season. As ISA-Certified Arborists, we work with homeowners and commercial properties when their trees become diseased to nurse them back to health.

Unfortunately, there are some tree diseases that trees can never bounce back from. This is especially true for oak wilt, a tree disease that affects oak trees. This tree disease, which easily spreads to other oaks on your property through the affected oak’s root system, has no known cause. The only thing we as Arborists can do if your oak tree develops oak wilt is to remove the infected tree to stop the spread of this dangerous tree disease.

We Can Help You With Your Late Fall Tree Pruning

If you’d like some professional help with pruning your trees, we can help. As soon as your trees’ leaves fall, they are safe to be pruned.

But don’t’ wait until you have a big pile of leaves on the ground to book an appointment with us. This time of year our schedule gets booked with tree pruning jobs. We want to be able to help you prune your trees, which is why we recommend getting on our schedule now. By telling us the species of your trees, we can best plan when leaves will drop, and book a tree pruning appointment for your property. To reach our tree care specialists, call us today at tel:(817) 592-6846.

To learn more about What Are the Best Times to Prune?, call our Argyle and Southlake based teams

at tel:(817) 592-6846 or send us a message.

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Learn more about TreeNewal’s ISA Certified Arborists!

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Healthy trees, healthy lives.