As if it was ever in question, you should always give your trees extra loving care to keep them healthy and beautiful. These tasks include regular trimming, but when is a good time to trim tree branches for optimal results? Many arborists recommend pruning in the winter once the trees have gone dormant, but it’s not clear-cut.
In this post, we discuss the best time to trim your tree branches, as advised by reputable tree pruning experts in Perkiomenville, PA. The experts consider several factors, including the type and age of the tree.
What’s the Deal With Winter Pruning?
Generally, the winter months present the best time to prune or trim your trees and shrubs. The Northern Hemisphere’s dormant season runs from November through March, with most trees largely inactive during this period. It’s the perfect time for trimming for the following reasons:
- Trees are less prone to contracting diseases like fall fungus and insect infestations
- There’s minimal impact on the surrounding landscape
- You can easily see what you’re doing without leaves to hamper visibility
- Trees recover faster when they don’t have leaves, buds, or fruit-growing to support.
By the time spring arrives, your correctly pruned tree should be healthy and vibrant again!
When’s a Good Time to Trim Young Trees?
Experts advise being very careful with young trees. You often don’t need to prune young trees at all, especially within a year of transplanting them. It’s better to start lightly trimming the tree as it grows.
Here are a few tips to trim your young trees correctly:
- Cut damaged or broken branches off (no more in the first year).
- Don’t touch the temporary low branches–you want them to be short enough not to compete with permanent branches yet low enough to safeguard the young trunk.
Of course, you can prune the tree naturally for your desired shape as it matures.
When’s the Best Time to Trim Deciduous Trees?
So, when is a good time to trim tree branches if you have deciduous trees? The general answer of late winter may not apply to certain trees, including trees that shed their leaves every year.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension points out that you should prune these types of trees from late fall to winter. Here’s why:
- The trees are dormant during this period
- You can easily see the branch framework
- There are fewer insects or diseases to worry about
- It prevents “bleeding” – sap release that happens if you prune in spring
A Note on Flowering Trees
Prune spring-blooming trees and plants right after they bloom. If the trees bloom in summer or fall, prune them in late winter or early spring before they come out of dormancy.
Contact Your Local Tree Experts for Assistance
When is a good time to trim tree branches in Southeastern Pennsylvania and North and Central New Jersey? Will summer trimming affect spring growth? Find out from our local tree care professionals.