When is the Best Time to Prune Trees?

When is the Best Time to Prune Trees?

After months of looking at branches and limbs stripped down to their bare bones, the rich, bright tones of spring’s bloom are a wonderful welcome to the new season.

Underneath the striking spring scene, you’ll want to make sure your trees have a healthy base.

Knowing when to trim trees keeps them healthy in the long-term while setting them up for a season of robust growth.

Below we’re answering your most common questions about when to trim, or prune, your trees.

When is the best time to prune trees?

Sometime between the changing leaves in fall and flower blooms in spring, your trees need a trim. Anytime between late fall and early spring is best for tree trimming or pruning.

Talk to your local arborist about pruning before spring blooms emerge. Typically a tree's pruning cycle is 3 to 5 years, but type, size and health play a role in the cycle that will work best for your tree. 

Why is late fall through early spring best for tree pruning?

In fall and winter, trees enter a dormant stage, halting their growth. This inactivity along with dropping temperatures creates an ideal setting for pruning. If you prune after new growth has started, you can limit the plant’s bloom potential for the year.

A harder ground in winter gives arborists easy access to the tree, and the bare canopy makes branches easier to see and handle.

Check out our dormant pruning infographic for quick facts about pruning trees in fall and winter.

What are the benefits of pruning in late fall or winter?

Pruning trees in the dormant season promotes tree’s current health and sustains future tree growth.

And even better, dormant pruning saves time and money by helping with disease management.

Watch this video to see the benefits of pruning trees in the dormant season first-hand.

Take advantage of the last weeks of winter. Contact your local Davey arborist about a dormant pruning consultation.

Or learn more simple ways to keep your trees safe by signing up for our eNewsletter!

  • The Tree Doctor August 8, 2018 >Hi James, Dead or dying branches on your pine can be removed at any time. Those live branches that are touching your house can also be reduced or removed as well. It is important to make the pruning cuts correctly and at the proper location for best results. I would recommend going over this with a certified arborist. You can contact your local Davey Tree office directly at (408) 755-9824. You can also fill out a quick form to request a consultation on their local webpage here: http://www.davey.com/local-offices/south-bay-tree-service/. Hopefully, this helps. Best of luck to you, James.
  • James Baldovi August 7, 2018 >We have a Jeffery pine in our front yard and it's about 35 feet tall and it has new been tuned our shaped. I'm not sure if this is the right time to prune, shape and remove all of the dried branches and needles and remove the branches that are touching our house roof.
  • The Tree Doctor July 2, 2018 >Hi Stephanie, Unfortunately, Davey Tree does not service your area. Here is a resource that can help you with hiring a reputable tree service company or certified arborist: http://www.davey.com/arborist-advice/articles/hiring-a-tree-service-provider-or-an-arborist/. Best of luck to you. Here if you have any more questions, Stephanie.
  • Stephanie Danvers June 27, 2018 >We have two trees in our front garden that will need pruning and shaping this autumn/winter and I wanted to plan it in.
  • The Tree Doctor February 26, 2018 >Hi there, Cici. Unfortunately, Davey Tree does not service your neck of the woods! Here if you have any other questions, Cici.
  • The Tree Doctor February 26, 2018 >Hi there, Nick. We would be happy to evaluate if your trees need a trim! Thanks for reaching out. I have passed along your information to your local office, so they should be reaching out soon. Or, if you’d prefer, you can contact them at (630) 481-3459 or online davey.com/local-offices/south-chicago-tree-and-lawn-service/. Here if you need anything else, Nick.
  • Cici Castillo February 25, 2018 >I have a tree in my backyard that has overgrown and I need the canopy trimmed. It also has some dead branches. I want to bring the trees size down. Help
  • Nick D'Asta February 23, 2018 >Please contact me regarding a spring trimming of our trees. You did a great job last year and maybe nothing is required this year, but I would be interested if you would look at our trees and let me know. Many Thanks, Nick
  • The Tree Doctor February 16, 2018 >Hi there, James. We would be happy to give you an estimate for pruning and fertilization. I have passed along your information to your local office, so they should be reaching out soon. Or, if you’d prefer, you can contact them at (770) 451-7911 or online, davey.com/local-offices/atlanta-tree-service-and-lawn-service/. Here if you need anything else, James.
  • James Brooks February 14, 2018 >Need to thin out and trim trees and some bushes. Also look into feeding them.
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