When is the Best Time to Prune Trees and Shrubs
The Timing of Tree and Shrub Pruning Should Keep Their Best Interests in Mind
Many amateur gardeners have a tendency to include their tree and shrub pruning as part of their springtime yard maintenance activities. The prevailing thought in these cases is to concentrate all post-winter yard clean-up plus growing season preparations into the same week/weekend; and because they are dedicating that time to fertilize the lawn and clean out the flower beds, they might as well do their tree pruning and shrub pruning at the same time, right?
While this might be an admirable plan from a time utilization perspective, and one which can ultimately allow more free time for other leisure activities on subsequent spring days and weekends, it may not be the most prudent decision from the standpoint of tree and shrub health; said another way, what may be in the best interests of the home gardener might not be in the best overall interests of their trees and shrubs.
It is important to keep in mind that pruning is a vital aspect in overall tree care; pruning serves several different purposes with respect to improving tree/shrub health, strength, and appearance/curb appeal; some of the main reasons why homeowners and property owners should prune their trees and shrubs on a regular basis include:
- To promote or accelerate growth
- Slowing growth in certain situations
- To revitalize neglected trees or shrubs
- To remove dead, dying, or diseased wood
- Shaping the canopy or overall tree structure
- Stimulating greater production of fruit or flowers
- More sunlight penetration deeper into the tree/shrub
- To address or improve tree health after storm damage
However, in contrast to the all-at-once approach commonly employed by many amateur gardeners, tree pruning and shrub pruning should not be done all at once as a matter of convenience and/or good time management; in actual fact, pruning that is performed at incorrect times can be detrimental to achieving one or more of the above-stated goals.
Consequently, it might be more appropriate to think of the best time to prune a tree on the basis of the following and not simply on personal schedules or time-and-opportunity:
- Tree age
- Tree health
- Tree species
- Growing periods
- Season of the year
Using this put-the-tree-first mentality, so to speak, homeowners and property owners who would like to enrich and preserve the beauty, integrity, and well-being of their trees may want to follow these timing guidelines for best pruning practices:
From January to March:
- Deciduous, fruit-bearing, and weak trees/saplings (to promote growth)
From April to May:
- Deciduous trees that bloom prior to June (prune after blooming has ended)
- Needleleaf and broadleaf coniferous trees (commonly known as evergreens)
From June to August:
- Flowering deciduous and fruit trees (if they are neglected and/or overgrown)
From August to October:
- As needed to rectify existing damage or prevent damage over the coming winter
- Note – other tree pruning during this period can produce a higher rate of decay
In terms of the best time to prune a shrub, this is often associated with blooming cycles, or more specifically, not interrupting the blooming cycles; since various species bloom at different times, it would also be important to know whether the shrubs bloom on old or new wood/growth:
Blooming on Old Growth:
- Shrubs that create buds for next year’s blooms/flowers during the current year
- The buds are carried through the winter on old growth (thus the term old wood)
Blooming on New Growth:
- Shrubs that do not form flower buds until after the growing starts in the spring
- These flower buds characteristically open later in the same year/growing season
Due to these seasonal or quarterly facets relative to pruning different types of trees and shrubs, it might be wise to take advantage of the knowledge and skills of a professional tree services provider, like DreamWorks Tree Services, in order to attain the best results with any and all pruning needs.
Call on DreamWorks Tree Services for All Your Tree and Shrub Pruning Needs
For almost two decades, the experts at DreamWorks Tree Services have been providing skilled tree pruning and shrub pruning services for residential and commercial property owners in the Greater Toronto Area.
Based on their levels of knowledge and expertise, the staff at DreamWorks Tree Services can offer their professional insight and services to area residents with respect to:
- Best time to prune a specific tree or shrub
- Best time to prune to attain a particular result
- Appropriate actions for addressing storm damage
- Appropriate actions for addressing tree health issues
- The proper amount of pruning per tree and per branch
- Dealing with disease or infestation and related complications
- Removal of dead/diseased wood and crossed or rubbing branches
For further information on the tree and shrub pruning services provided by DreamWorks Tree Services.
For expert tree and shrub pruning, call the specialists at DreamWorks Tree Services at 647-793-8903 today or contact us to receive a no-obligation assessment and quote.