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 November 13, 2017 >Hi there, Gilbert. We would be happy to come out to your property for an evaluation. 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 512.271.2810 or davey.com/local-offices/austin-tree-service/. Either way, talk more soon, Gilbert.
  • Gilbert Myers November 10, 2017 >Hello, please come and look at our trees. This is a follow-up from earlier in the year. Thank you Mr Gilbert Myers
  • The Tree Doctor October 31, 2017 >Hi Nina! We would be happy come evaluate your aspen trees. Thanks for contacting us. I’ve passed along your request to your local office, so they should be reaching out soon to set up an appointment. Or if you’d prefer, you can contact them at 303.515.7492 or davey.com/local-offices/east-denver-tree-service/. Either way, talk more soon, Nina.
  • Nina Hendricksn October 25, 2017 >Check aspen trees in back yard near house Two in clump May be dead. If so then remove Thanks 2 i
  • The Tree Doctor October 6, 2017 >Hi Bill. Based on your description of the two trees, it could be a variety of different issues. You can send us a photo of the trees to blog@davey.com, and we will try to make a clearer diagnosis. Hope to hear from you soon, Bill.
  • BILL ARADO October 6, 2017 >2 TREES /ONE IN FRONT LEAFS FALLING OFF ALL SUMMER BACK LARGER TREE SOME DEAD BRANCHES NEED HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Glenn Hartshorn September 28, 2017 >Need a cost for trimming 3 oak trees
  • The Tree Doctor April 5, 2017 >Hi there, Diane. We wish we could help trim your two rows of arborvitae, but unfortunately, Davey Tree doesn't provide residential tree service in your neck of the woods. Instead, here's some advice on how to hire a safe, qualified tree care provider: blog.davey.com/2016/04/the-3-step-guide-to-choosing-a-safe-tree-service/. Hope this helps, Diane.
  • Diane Collins April 5, 2017 >I have two rows of arborvite which I would like cut back and trimmed toa neat hedge.
  • The Tree Doctor February 28, 2017 >Hi Rosanne. Thanks for reaching out to us to prune the two European Hornbeams we planted for you! I've passed along your request for a pruning estimate to your local office. They should be reaching out soon with more info. If you'd rather, you can contact them directly at 724.703.1454 or davey.com/local-offices/east-pittsburgh-tree-service/#main-form. Either way, talk more soon, Rosanne.
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