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 December 6, 2018 >Hi Victor, I am so glad we were able to help! You made the right decision!
  • Victor Lin November 29, 2018 >Thanks a lot for your sharing!!!!! i was searching online for purchasing pruning sealer and i am lucky to find your cortical :-), after reading i decided never buy it .
  • the Tree Doctor November 19, 2018 >Hi Michael, Unfortunately, we do not service that area. Here is a resource that can help you when trying to hire a certified arborist: http://www.davey.com/arborist-advice/articles/hiring-a-tree-service-provider-or-an-arborist/. Hopefully, this helps. Best of luck to you, Michael.
  • Michael Ayres November 8, 2018 >Do you work as far North as Ukiah? We need some pro help with our residence there.
  • The Tree Doctor October 12, 2018 >Hi Cindi, We have entered the dormant season in your area, so this is actually a great time to have your trees pruned. During this time, trees are less susceptible to disease and deadwood can be easier to spot without the thick canopy. There are several more benefits when it comes to dormant pruning which you can read here: http://www.davey.com/arborist-advice/articles/dormant-pruning/. Unfortunately, Davey Tree does not service your area based on the zip code provided. Here is a resource that can help you with hiring a certified arborist or reputable tree care company if you decide to have some dormant pruning done: http://www.davey.com/arborist-advice/articles/hiring-a-tree-service-provider-or-an-arborist/. Hopefully, this helps. Best of luck to you, Cindi.
  • The Tree Doctor October 12, 2018 >Hi Maliha, We welcome the chance to prove that we can be an honest and reliable partner for all of your tree and landscape needs. I forwarded this information to your local Davey Tree office. They will reach out to you to schedule a free consultation. You can also contact them directly at (630) 755-0395. I also apologize for any inconvenience our spam filter causes you. I know that can be a pain. Let me know if there is anything else I can do for you, Maliha.
  • The Tree Doctor October 12, 2018 > Hi Neil, I forwarded your request to your local Care of Trees office (a Davey company.) They will reach out to you as soon as they can to schedule a free consultation. You can also contact them directly at (847) 278-4705. Here if you need anything else, Neil.
  • The Tree Doctor October 12, 2018 >Hi John, I forwarded this to your local Davey Tree office. They will reach out to you as soon as they can. In order to give you an accurate quote, an arborist will have to come out and inspect the property. This consultation is of no charge to you. You can also contact your local office directly at (630) 755-0395. Here if you need anything else, John.
  • Cindi Vincent October 12, 2018 >I have a fairly large oak tree that really needs to be trimmed. Can I do it now or what is the best month to trim it? I also have a Linden that I need to trim. Can I do that now?
  • Neil Morgan October 12, 2018 >Front yard honey locust - please inspect and let me know if this tree would benefit from pruning. We are an existing customer in Hawthorn Woods.
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