When is The Best Time To Prune Trees?

When is The Best Time To Prune Trees

Most people prune their trees to remove dead, infested, weak, and diseased branches and they can do this at any time of year with limited effect on trees. Pruners know that for heightened wood closure and growth to occur, they should prune their trees before spring starts or in late winter. However, different trees have different periods when they can be pruned. Below are common types of trees and the best time of the year to trim/prune them.

When is The Best Time To Prune Trees?

Deciduous Trees

Deciduous trees are trees that shed their leaves every year. February up to March is regarded as the best time to trim trees and prune deciduous trees. During that period, they would have entered into the dormant season.

Therefore, the absence of foliage at this period provides a clear view of tree branches and enables the selection and removal of unwanted branches. Also, the healing of wounds happens rapidly before the onset of early spring.

However, oak trees are an exception because the best time for pruning them is from December to February. Arguably, you can prune deciduous trees at other times of the year with few negative effects. In this case, you should avoid pruning your deciduous trees during the spring season when they are leafing out and during the fall when they are dropping their leaves. In addition, if you wish to reduce the risk of oak infection, you should not prune them from March to October (early winter to early spring).

Evergreen Shrubs

You should prune evergreen shrubs such as yew and juniper starting from late March to early April. You can also do light pruning in mid-summer or summer prune. However, you should avoid pruning the shrubs in the fall because you will make them susceptible to winter injury.


If you have subtropic trees. you should prune them year-round because of their growing environment. These kinds of trees will constantly replace the lost tissue and they have plentiful sunshine and water throughout the year. However, it does not mean that you should prune large branches every day.

Pruning experts recommend that you should not make a pruning cut that removes more than 30 percent of the live tissue from your subtropic trees. For instance, if a big branch breaks from the tree and you realize that most of the leaves are on that branch, you should not prune your tree during that growing season.

Flowering Trees

Flowering trees should be pruned after they have bloomed. However, routine pruning of dying or dead branches can be done at any time of the year. Despite that, you should know that the kind of flowering tree that you have will determine its needs and specific rules for proper pruning, including maintaining a strong structure.

If you have planted newly planted trees, you should inspect for pruning needs annually. By pruning new trees regularly throughout their life, you will keep them aesthetically pleasing, safe, and healthy. You should not defer from pruning your new trees until their limbs become large.

Arguably, large limbs mean large wounds, which can be hard for a tree to seal. Such wounds can leave the tree vulnerable to rot, insects, and diseases. You should not try to chop off trees so that you can reduce their size; such a practice can damage your new trees.

When is the Worst Time to Prune Trees?

The worst time to prune trees depends on the type of tree and your location, but generally, it’s not advisable to prune trees during certain times of the year when they are actively growing or stressed. For most trees, the worst time to prune is typically in late spring or early summer when they are in full leaf and actively growing.

Pruning during this time can lead to excessive sap loss, stress on the tree, and the potential for disease or pest infestation. Pruning during the fall, when trees are preparing for dormancy, can also be detrimental as it may interfere with their natural processes. It’s always a good idea to research the specific needs of the tree species you’re dealing with and consider local climate conditions before pruning.

Final Thoughts

Pruning trees during the winter or early spring helps promote growth and minimize stress. It’s important to understand the anatomy of trees and the concept of the branch collar when making pruning cuts. When removing large branches, proper technique is essential to prevent damage to the tree and encourage healing.

Learn more about tree pruning in Omaha, NE, or click here for additional information.

Omaha Tree Services – Tree Pruning in Omaha, NE

At Omaha Tree, our mission is to provide tree care services & mulch products that improve the HEALTH, BEAUTY, & SAFETY of our customers’ trees. We recycle all of our wood waste material from the trees we trim and remove in the greater Omaha metro area. The wood waste material is brought back to our 8-acre tree disposal site in Omaha at 3606 McKinley Street, where it is processed into a beautiful & consistent mulch product that is local, fresh, and clean. Contact us today.