In the summer, your landscape to-do list is always spilling onto another page. From mowing to watering, you’re busy enough!
But now that you spotted a precarious tree limb in your garden, you’re wondering if, perhaps, you should trim now…
Usually, it’s best to prune trees in the dormant season when they don’t have any leaves. But as with any rule, there are always exceptions. Discover what they are below.
You probably want to hold off on heavily pruning trees now–unless it’s a fruit tree or poses a safety risk. But removing a few small branches should be A-OK as you long as you do it the right way.
When is summer pruning good for trees:
Why shouldn't you heavily prune trees in summer? If you prune to excess in summer, next year, your trees may not be as full. Summer pruning takes away from the tree's total number of leaves, and fewer leaves mean less food flowing throughout the tree for next year's growth.
A tree with open pruning wounds may be extra vulnerable to certain diseases. That’s especially for oak trees! If possible, you should not prune oak trees at all during the summer to reduce the chance of oak wilt, which is a potentially fatal disease. If you must prune (usually for safety reasons), paint the pruning cuts to make them less attractive to oak wilt-carrying beetles.
Here's more information on the best time to trim oak trees and how often.