When to Prune Your Trees
When to prune depends on why you are pruning. A light prune will remove the dead wood and
is okay to do sometimes. Here are some guidelines to help you decide to prune.
However, remember that individual species can have differences that you should
be aware of.
The most common pruning practice is to prune dormancy. When you prune during dormancy
you will have a hearty burst of new growth in the spring. If this is what you
want then use winter pruning. It is better to wait until the coldest part of
winter is gone and the slightly warmer temperatures have arrived. Some species,
like walnuts, maples, and birches can bleed when pruned, which means the sap
starts to run. Not to worry, this is not harmful.
You can direct the tree’s growth by slowing the branches you don’t want. You can also
slow the development of a branch if you prune after the seasonal growth is done.
You slow the growth so that you can reduce the total leaf surface, which
reduces the amount of food that is manufactured and then sent to the roots.
Another reason to prune in the summer because you need to make a correction.
For example, you have a defective limb can or you have limbs that are hanging
too low from the weight of the leaves.
How to Prune Flowering Trees to Increase Flower Production
If you want to enhance flowering through pruning those trees that bloom in the spring
should be pruned once the flowers fade. For trees that flower in mid- to late
summer you should prune these trees during the winter
or early spring.
When You Should Not Prune
Decay fungi spreads their spores abundantly in the fall and wounds heal slower on
cuts, this is not a great time to prune. Of course, you should always follow
the directions provided to you by your nursery or tree care provider.