When it comes to pruning your trees, you need to know when the best time to do this is. The best time will greatly depend on why you are going to be pruning the tree. It is possible to prune your trees at any time of the year, but you should avoid pruning them during fall.
Why Fall Pruning Is Not Recommended
Fall pruning is not recommended for a number of reasons. The primary reason is that your trees will generally not have enough time to heal the pruning cuts before they enter their dormant state for winter. This will increase the chances of winter damage because your tree is not fully healthy when winter comes.
Fall is also the time when decay fungi will spread their pores. If your trees have open prune cuts, these spores will be able to infect your trees easily. The wounds from the pruning will also take longer to heal when the spores land on them.
While pruning during the fall is not recommended, a lot of people prune their trees during winter. It is best to prune your trees close to the end of winter and the start of spring so they are ready to burst into new growth when they exit their dormant state. You need to wait for the coldest part of winter to pass before you prune your trees.
Summer pruning is ideal if you want to direct the growth of your trees. Pruning during summer will slow the growth of branches that you do not want or dwarf them to achieve the shape that you want. If this is what you are trying to achieve, you should prune your trees as soon after the seasonal growth is done as possible.
Another reason why you might want to prune in the summer is for corrective purposes. If you notice any defective limbs on your tree, rubbing branches or limbs that have too much weight on their leaves, you should prune them during summer.
Pruning For Flowering
If you are looking to enhance the flowering of your trees, you need to look at when they bloom. This will dictate the best time to prune them to enhance them. If the tree blooms in the spring, you need to wait until their flowers fade before pruning them. However, if the trees flower in mid or late summer, you should prune them during the preceding winter or early spring.
Pruning Damaged Branches
If you notice that your tree has damaged or dead branches, you should not wait to prune them. Removing these branches should be done as soon as possible to avoid any further damage. These branches could fall and damage the rest of the tree or they could be diseased and need to be removed before the disease can spread further.
Before you prune your trees, you need to consider why you want to do this. The reason for the pruning will affect the time of year when you should be doing this.