When Is the Right Time to Prune Trees and Shrubs?

Tree PruningAs summer draws to a close, you may start thinking about pruning your garden once fall arrives. However, many gardening experts would actually encourage you to put those pruning shears away in the fall!

Why? According to Mike McGrath, host of the radio show You Bet Your Garden and author of “Mike McGrath’s Book of Compost,” pruning in the fall encourages new growth at a time that plants need to go dormant, weakening the plant.

So when is the right time to prune your trees and shrubs?

For most plants, that would be winter. In winter, plants are dormant, which is ideal for pruning because:

  • There is less risk of disease or pest infestation.
  • Wounds from pruning heal faster.
  • You can see what you’re doing much easier without leaves getting in the way.
  • There’s no sap flowing. Flowing sap won’t harm the plant, but it can attract pests and make a mess.

There are two main exceptions to the “prune in winter” rule:

  • Dead, diseased or heavily damaged wood can (and should) be removed during any season. It’s important to get rid of these branches right away so they can’t damage your property, especially if you live in an area prone to ice storms or hurricanes.
  • Trees and shrubs that bloom in the spring should be pruned immediately after they bloom.

When in doubt, a landscaping professional will always know the right time to prune trees and shrubs in your yard. Need professional, friendly lawn care and tree services in the Fairfield County area? Contact Brother Tree & Lawn Service today at (203) 767-2915.

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