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 deciduous trees 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, some of which are spread by insects attracted to fresh wounds. That’s especially for oak and elm 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, and do not prune elm trees at all during the summer to reduce the chance of Dutch elm disease, both of which are fatal diseases.
If you must prune (usually for safety reasons), paint the pruning cuts with latex paint to make them less attractive to fungus-carrying beetles.
Here's more information on the best time to trim oak trees and how often.
There are quite a few reasons pruning your tree regularly is important. (see earlier note about the linked blog and frequency of pruning)
Sometimes, though, these things can be hard to see or understand, depending on your specific tree and how much you know about that species.
If you think your tree may cause damage to your home or you have safety concerns, contacting a certified arborist can ensure that trimming is done right to alleviate your issues and to keep your tree healthy as well.
A professional arborist can also be helpful if you need to trim branches larger than 4 inches, which are large enough to be dangerous for untrained people to cut. If you have any doubt about your ability to assess your tree pruning needs and what to cut and what not to cut, contacting a certified arborist can give you the peace of mind you need to get the job done safely and quickly.