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What Season Is the Best Time to Trim Trees?

What Season Is the Best Time to Trim Trees?

Did you know that there are specific times of the year you should trim your trees? Check out this article to learn about the best time to trim trees.

Keyword(s): best time to trim trees


Did you know that there are specific times of the year you should trim your trees?

Seasons affect the plant growth cycle. This means you need to trim your trees at a time when they can recover and regrow easily. The best season should also favor plant healing for healthier trees.

Check out this article to learn about the best time to trim trees.

Winter Trimming

Arbor experts advise that winter is the best time to trim all kinds of trees. What makes this argument convincing is the fact that winter is the season of dormancy. With the cold winter temperatures, trees hibernate. There is no flowering like in spring. Trees cannot bud; neither can they shed leaves as they do in autumn.

You can trim conifers, non-blooming trees and shrubs in the late winter when they are fully dormant. Summer-blooming trees and shrubs can also be trimmed in the late winter. Spring blooming trees are ready for a trim immediately after they bloom.

Having settled on the timing, here are the reasons why you should trim during winter.

1. The Tree Structure Is More Visible

The main reason why people trim trees is to shape a tree and direct growth in a certain direction.

Winter season is the ideal for shaping your trees. The winter season succeeds in autumn. Autumn is the fall season where leaves fall. Trees shed a lot of leaves as they prepare for dormancy, so they get less bushy by winter. Once the trees have shed leaves in autumn, the tree structure becomes more visible in winter. This allows you to see the dead branches. There are not many leaves to obstruct the trimming.

This enables you to shape the tree into the right shape, especially if you want the tree to have the canopy shape.

2. Stops Spread Of Diseases

As you might know from biology, disease-causing agents like warm weather. So do tree disease-causing bacteria, fungi, parasites and insects.

The disease-causing agents go dormant during winter because temperatures are unbearable. Actually, most bacteria and parasites die days into the winter season.

Therefore, trimming during winter is less likely to spread tree diseases. Specific trees such as elm and oak trees once infected with fire blight cannot be cured. Trimming during winter minimizes disease transmission while keeping the trees healthy.

3. Causes less Stress for the Trees

Usually, trimming stimulates new growth and recovery of the wound. The winter season does not favor any growth. This is a time for the tree to rest and heal without having to reproduce the branches or leaves.

As the tree remains dormant after trimming, it is also safe against the pests and fungi. The winter season allows for gradual healing until the onset of spring. Then the tree taps into enough sunlight, moisture, and other nutrients to reproduce the cut branches.

4. Increases Efficiency

You are probably thinking that winter is too cold to be out there trimming. This is true. But trimming during winter safeguards the landscape around your home.

As you prepare to do a major trim, you are going to have heavy equipment in the home area. The heavy equipment could damage your grounds as you move them across your garden. Also, with the heavy branches falling, they are also capable of damaging grass.

Winter temperatures prevent landscape damage by freezing the ground. If you can trim when it is snowing, that is even better. You won’t have to replant anything, and this makes winter pruning efficient. You will keep the landscape looking good as you improve the health of your trees.

5. Preserves Your Garden

During the winter season, lighting is considerably scarce. You need to ensure that all other plants and grass in your yard have access to little light that comes out during the day.

Winter trimming reduces the density of the branches. More light penetrates to the grass around. This keeps the grass healthy and the other plants. If you have taller trees and shrubs underneath, winter trimming preserves the bushes as well.

The winter trim maintains all the plants in your garden healthy despite the cold weather and scarce lighting.

Spring and Summer Trimming

Even though winter is the ideal season to trim, there are cases where you might have to trim in spring and summer. This depends on a couple of things.

First, some specific trees can’t be trimmed in winter. Fruit trees such as apple, cherry, plum, spruce, pear, poplar, and honey locust are suitable for winter trimming. Trees with sap should be trimmed in summer or late spring. The sap is controlled during this season better than during winter.

You can also trim trees during spring or summer in case of these circumstances:

  • If you want to open up a tree for more air circulation at your home, you can do a light trimming of the branches that block air circulation.
  • To remove dead and damaged branches that you did not notice during the dormancy trim.
  • If you want to raise the tree canopy for a better ambiance
  • To remove infected or damaged branches and leaves.
  • If your area is prone to storms and hurricanes, a weak branch may pose a danger. You can trim this at any time of the year.

Best Time to Trim Trees?

In general, the best time to trim trees is during winter season. There are numerous health benefits for winter trimming for the trees. As well, winter is convenient for you because the weather is cool and all the branches are visible.

This helps you to cut off dead branches and curve out the tee shape you like. If you are looking to do a minor maintenance trim, then you could do it in spring or summer. A touch-up after the main trim can be done at any time of the year.

Remember to contact an expert to help you trim the right way at the right time to keep your trees healthy.

Contact us for more information.


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