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Is Fall When It’s Best to Prune Trees?

Keeping trees healthy year-round is the goal for most tree owners, but it doesn’t always happen on its own. Trees need a little bit of assistance to help them better fight disease and produce more fruit and flowers. For trees to truly flourish, they’ll need to have pruning services performed occasionally.

People often wonder when to prune their trees. It’s easy to think that it’s okay to prune a tree whenever you see a problem, but the time of the year you prune can have a large impact on the overall health of your tree. One snip in the wrong place at the wrong time can wreak havoc on your tree by leaving it susceptible to disease and infestation or stunting its growth. Most people choose to let professionals like the staff at Mr. Tree take care of their pruning needs to ensure it’s done correctly. Others choose to attempt to figure it out on their own. If you’re a part of the latter group, knowing when is and isn’t a good time to try pruning can end up saving your tree’s life

Here are a few helpful tips about when to prune trees.

What is pruning?

Pruning is the act of cutting branches or the stems of a tree or shrub. It’s done to get rid of dead or overgrown portions of the plant, as well as for appearance purposes. It can also be done to cut away diseased areas of a tree or shrub. Having your tree pruned, or pruning it yourself, can encourage a fuller tree in the springtime, as well as encourage your tree to produce more flowers and leaves.

Pruning is of great importance to fruit trees specifically. They are some of the few trees that rely heavily on pruning, as it helps them to maintain structural integrity and yield more fruit each season. Still, the pruning of any tree is a great investment in the long-term health of the tree, as well as its structural integrity. People who have their trees pruned experience benefits such as a more polished look to their yard, the avoidance of damage caused by dead branches, and the opportunity for new growth.

Is fall the best time to prune?

Fall months bring a coziness with them and a need to put everything in its place. As the weather begins to cool down, you may feel like it’s time to clean up your yard in preparation for winter. While raking the leaves is a good way to satisfy that need, pruning in the fall is not. The fall months are not a good time to prune your tree for many reasons.

During the fall, many trees are starting to relax after a long growing season. They too are preparing for winter, which is their dormant stage. However, pruning in the fall can stimulate new growth in the tree during a time when it shouldn’t be experiencing it. Pruning in fall can also lead to heavy sap bleeding, which isn’t healthy for the tree. Another issue with pruning in the fall is that the tree may not be able to heal properly from the cut. An unhealed wound on a tree makes it an easy target for an infestation to take over. You shouldn’t give disease any more reason to be attracted to your trees, so try not to prune during such a sensitive time as the fall.

When is the best time to prune?

Knowing exactly when to prune your tree can be tricky, but most experts say that the dead of winter or very early spring are among the best times to do this work. In those months, trees are in a dormant stage. This means they aren’t in a growth period and can recover fully from being cut before they reenter their growth period. Pruning trees when they’re dormant is the best and safest time to do so.

Pruning in the winter or early spring has other advantages as well. Since most trees aren’t in a growing period, they don’t have fruit, flowers, or leaves on them. This can aid in tree pruning, as it’s easier to navigate through branches without anything being on them. Pruning during this time can allow you to make cleaner cuts and really see which branches and stems are causing an issue.

Do I have to take care of pruning on my own?

With all of the possibilities that can come from pruning your tree incorrectly, it’s normal to feel apprehensive about doing so. Clipping your branches the wrong way can result in major issues, one of which is a shortened life span for your tree. Pruning your own trees involves purchasing special equipment to do so and opens up the possibility of injuries occurring for people with less practice. For this reason, many people choose to sit back and let professionals prune their trees for them.

With over 30 years of experience in the industry, it’s safe to say that Mr. Tree knows a lot about how to effectively take care of trees. With the proper licensing, insurance, and certified staff, you can trust that your trees are in good hands with Mr. Tree. A certified arborist can come out to examine your tree and suggest the proper care that they should perform in order to get the results you’re after.

Professionals are able to get the job done correctly the first time and can do so safely. It’s not only the branches at the bottom of a tree that need attention. Often, branches higher in a tree can need pruning. The right professional will have the machinery and tools to do the job safely while keeping your property safe from damage as well. They also have the proper equipment to make precise cuts on a tree, as just any type of clippers won’t do the job correctly. Contact Mr. Tree today for more information or to schedule your tree pruning service.