Trees are a great addition to landscaping that can add variety with coloring and different height. They are also good air cleaners and some even provide us with a healthy snack. But like many things, trees require maintenance. Part of this maintenance is pruning. We provide tree trimming services for a variety of reasons. How often you trim your trees largely depends on your reason for trimming and the type of tree.
Shaping the Tree
If your tree is in need of shaping, it is best to do so while it is young and during the dormant season no matter the species. To help train a tree to grow in the desired shape and to promote strong branch growth, it is best to trim it once a year for the first 4 years of the tree’s life. From here, this kind of pruning can take place about every 3 years.
Cleaning the Tree
Cleaning a tree involves removing dead and diseased branches. This type of pruning can almost always be done at any time of the year, and should be done as soon as possible for safety reasons. Keep in mind, however, that certain types of diseases can actually worsen with pruning, including fire blight, oak wilt, stem cankers, and Dutch elm fungus. Oak wilt, for example, is a greater risk for a tree when it is pruned any time during April to October. Many funguses, such as fire blight, are most active during the fall. As a result, it is almost never a good idea to trim a tree in the fall.
Promoting Flowers and Fruits
For the most part, a flowering tree should be trimmed every year to help promote enhanced flowering and better fruits. Usually, this can be done in the dormant state in late winter before spring growth. For trees that bloom in early spring, however, such as dogwoods and red buds, the trees can be trimmed after the flowers have faded.
Generally, an evergreen will require very little pruning. When pruning is required, such as to remove dead or unsightly branches, it can usually be done at any time. There are, however, better times than others to prune certain evergreens if it can be managed. For example, spruces, firs, and Douglas firs do best when they are trimmed in late winter, while pines may have the best results if about 2/3 of new growth is trimmed during the spring before the new growth has fully matured.
Knowing the type of pruning your tree needs, how often it should occur, and when it should be done can be confusing. If you are still unsure about any of these factors, it may be best to contact a trained professional for your tree trimming services.