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Tree Pruning Guide

Different kinds of trees require different kinds of pruning and have different optimum times for pruning. Flowering trees, shade trees, and fruit trees all have different types of specific pruning. Generally, the best way to prune a tree is not to cut the branch off directly at the trunk of the tree. Leave a few inches of the branch you are cutting away from the main trunk of the tree.

Cutting directly against the trunk can cause the tree to have difficulties in healing, and may inadvertently result in the death or stunting of the tree. There are many reasons for pruning trees. Tree pruning can result in new, thicker, and healthier growth. Flowering or fruit trees in particular need to be pruned on a regular basis to encourage better growth and more productive fruit or flower growth.

Branches that are dead or diseased can be pruned away at any time during the year without causing damage to the tree. But specific varieties of trees have different times when tree pruning will do the most good. Flowering trees for instance, are pruned to promote flower growth and thin out the existing flowers for better displays.

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The best time to prune flowering trees is in the late winter or the very early spring. Thinning the flowering branches can also prevent the tree from taking disease.

If your overhead flower cover is too thick, it can act as a shade for the lower branches and cause the lower flowering branches to wither. Flowering trees should be thinned regularly so the branches do not touch. Fruit trees should be pruned in very late winter. Make sure to prune any leftover fruit buds off the tree to encourage growth.

The best time to prune shade trees, such as oak trees is also in the late winter. Shade tree pruning should be done around this time so the tree has enough time before the summer months to heal. Shade trees that are pruned too late in the season can be more susceptible to rot or disease during the summer months. Shade tree pruning is often done for the purpose of branch control, particularly in trimming the lower branches that hang down over walkways or neighbors’ fences.


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