Best Time Of The Year To Cut Back Trees

What time of year should trees be pruned? Is summer a good season to cut back trees? Let’s find out.

Trees require some trimming to keep them looking good. However, the time of year to do this is what matters.

This article will be discussing the best time of year to trim or cut back on trees. If you are specifically looking for information on fruit trees, here is the best time to cut them back.

Read on to find comprehensive information on this subject matter. There should be fewer difficulties regarding the time of year to cut back on trees.

READ: Reasons You Should Cut Down A Tree

Here are the best times to prune several species of trees and shrubs:

Reasons for Pruning Trees

In discussing the best time of year to cut back on trees, we’ll need to explain the reasons for trimming or pruning them. There are several. First, cutting back tree branches is a form of maintenance. It shouldn’t be mistaken for destroying them.

Landscape trees, rather than forest trees require pruning the most. To cut back on trees, you must have an understanding of tree biology. Mature trees are mostly cut back on for preventive or corrective measures. Corrective measures on what exactly?

Trees are pruned to help remove dead branches. This is a way to improve its form while reducing the risk of it causing accidents when broken.

Other reasons for cutting back on trees include the need for air penetration and light. The inside of a tree’s crown requires both light and air. So does the landscape below.

The heal of a tree is part of the reasons why it must be pruned. Diseased or damaged growth sometimes results. These will need to be cut out to prevent such from infecting the whole tree. Low-hanging tree branches must also be cut back on. These are likely to cause distractions to pedestrians.

Most times, landscape trees overgrow and block the line of vision beyond a driveway. Low-hanging branches over buildings might easily result in pest problems. How about those hanging near electrical lines?

All of these are good reasons to cut back on tree branches.

What Is the Best Time to Prune Trees?

Time of year is important when it comes to tree trimming. The main four seasons include Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall.

To know which time is best to cut back on trees, it will be necessary to explain tree trimming situations in each of them.

  • Winter

The Winter season is generally considered as the best time of year to cut down on trees. This is widely practiced and the results are evident. Such results show during Springtime. So, what reasons make late Winter the best time to get this job done?

This is the coldest period of the year, as such, most trees are dormant.

By being dormant, a tree will have some brief moments of hibernation. By hibernation, it simply means trees slow down or stop making or generating food. The amount of energy a tree consumes during this period also drops in addition to slow growth.

Happenings during this time point to one thing; trees are less likely to be damaged by insects and fungus when pruned. This, in turn, enables it to flourish during Spring. Deciduous trees are the best trimmed during Winter. This is because their leaves are shed which allows you to see their structure in greater detail.

i. How It’s Done

Having established Winter as the best time of year to cut back on trees, it will be equally important to explain as to how it’s done. This implies that pruning shouldn’t be done haphazardly but in a systematic way.

Having the right knowledge is highly essential. Such knowledge includes having an idea of how the appearance will be in addition to what will result (in terms of health) after the tree has been pruned.

First, such activity must be carried out on a dry day. In other words, the weather must be clear and dry.

Before the tree(s) is pruned, check for potential risks. Potential risks will include obstacles such as electric or power lines. Pruning should be done in such a way that it avoids contact and allows adequate clearing between it (the tree) and the obstacle.

Another factor to consider when cutting back on trees is the need to create more access to light and air. To do this, smaller branches will need to be trimmed. The long term structure of the tree is also important. Therefore, you must have this in mind when getting the job done.

Get rid of diseased or dead branches first. Removing these limits the chance of accidents resulting. It also improves the structure of the tree. The only exception should be when such dead branches are vital to the tree’s entire structure.

Most important of all, pruning should be done by a professional. An arborist (also called an arboriculturist) is a tree professional who can also be referred to as a tree surgeon. Calling such a professional saves you the stress of having to get the job done yourself.

Pruning a tree can be quite dangerous. Those with limited knowledge are better off allowing a professional to get the job done than trying to do so themselves.

The Worst Time For Cutting Back On Trees

Having discussed the best time for getting this job done, it is necessary to also provide information on the worst time to do this. Settling for a specific time or season as the best time for pruning is quite challenging. While some sources claim Spring to be the worst time for getting the job done, others settle for Fall. We’ll be providing information on each of these seasons.

Is Spring the worst time? During this time, most tree buds will be developing. Cutting back on such a tree will only succeed in causing it much stress, with the potential of distorting its development.

On the other hand, Fall isn’t also ideal to cut back on trees. This is because cuts take a much longer time to heal compared to other seasons. At this time, trees will be going into dormancy. Trees with diseases will release a significant amount of spores which will, in turn, infect it when cut.


Trees are fully covered during Summer, making it difficult to identify deficient branches or structures. However, some trees are best to trim during Summer. Some of these include Walnut, Maple, Dogwood, Elms, and Birch trees.

Here’s the information needed to get started on cutting back on trees. We have also added the worst times for getting the job done.

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