What is the Best Month to Trim a Tree?
The best time to trim a tree is late winter because the trees are mostly dormant and they are perfect for handling a heavy trim’s shock. Trimming during other seasons such as fall could lead to the spreading of diseases or fungi and the wounds usually take longer to heal.
However, for light pruning, you can do it all year round. This process involves cutting off dead branches.
It is important to remember that different trees have different times when they are best for pruning. The following are different types of trees and when we would recommend you trim them.
These include trees like spruce and fir, they are best trimmed in the early springs or late winters. Just before the leaves begin to grow back. Since evergreens have side buds we recommend cutting branches that are slightly above them.
Usually, the branches from the bottom of the tree are about to die hence they should be removed.
- Deciduous trees
For deciduous trees, you can trim on the same time frame as the evergreens. Trimming causes shock to the tree, that is why we prefer you should do it when the tree is dormant. When it ‘switches on’ slowly as spring approaches it will receive less shock and recover well.
- Oak trees
To minimize harm to an oak tree, we recommend trimming them in the winter. It is important to note that you should not trim off over 15 percent of the branches. This will stress out the tree.
Maples are deciduous trees so they should be trimmed just as winter ends and as spring begins. They may bleed if you trim them during late winter but don’t worry, it won’t affect its growth or harm the sap.
- Fruit trees
In the case of fruit trees, Late February to the beginning of April is recommended if you are in the Northern Hemisphere and around spring break in the southern hemisphere. Trimming fruit trees in early winters will cause them to bleed heavily. This will damage their growth.
Apricots should be trimmed in early autumn to reduce the risk of infections.
Pruning in summer sometimes can improve the tree’s quality of fruits. For example, Apples and cherry can be lightly trimmed during summer.
You should also note that sometimes trimming during summer in some fruit trees may lead to the fruit tree producing fewer fruits.
What Happens if You Trim Trees During the Summer?
Trimming a tree during summer is only recommended if there is an emergency, such can include a broken branch, in which case it is okay. You could also do a few pruning here and there but do not remove anything above 10-15 percent of the foliage.
Trimming trees in the summer affect the tree’s growth. It can also cause the tree to contract diseases or get attacked by pests.
We advise you to trim the large branches during the winter because it is when the tree has fewer leaves and is dormant. Since there are also a few leaves on the tree, clean-up is fairly easy.
Hiring a professional to do it for you is also cheaper during the winter. You are more likely to get discounts and low rates during the season.
However, if you must trim during the summer, we recommend, you do it at the end of summer. This is to minimize the amount of damage you could cause to the branches. Dead branches can be removed anytime all year round.
How Often Should a Tree Be Trimmed?
Trimming depends on the type, size, health, and age of the tree. As an example, some evergreen trees need to be trimmed at least every 3 years while others can be trimmed once every 7 years.
Fruit trees should be trimmed every winter. This is to increase the number of fruits on the tree. In most cases, young trees need more trimming than older trees to maintain the tree’s shape and health.
Mature trees should be trimmed at least every 4 years. You should however be on the lookout for dead branches, these should be trimmed off. Trimming should only be done if necessary and it is also important to remember never to trim off over 25 percent of the tree’s growth.
What Should Be Trimmed in a Tree?
- Crossing branches – This is when branches grow inward into the tree instead of outwards. These branches rub against the tree’s bark and sheer off the surfaces of the tree and other branches. They can also attract pests or cause serious diseases.
- Dead branches – These dead tree branches should be removed to improve the health of the tree. Creating spaces between the branches also allow for the free circulation of air hence promote photosynthesis
- Lower branches – These are also referred to as canopy lifts. We recommend cutting them down to allow for penetration of light.
Why is Trimming a Tree Important?
Trimming your trees keep your surrounding safe and promote good health for the tree. It does this by preventing infections and pests that may attack the tree when you cut off dead branches.
Cutting off some of the tree’s branches also allows the tree to get more air and have better access to sunlight thus helping in photosynthesis. Photosynthesis promotes healthy growth.
Trimming a tree also ensures the safety of the property. There are trees that can grow up to 70 feet tall and weigh more than 2000 kg, when branches from such trees fall they can cause harm to people and property. Trimming helps to prevent accidents by removing high-risk branches.
When you trim a fruit tree, you encourage fruit production. The appearance of a trimmed tree is also visually appealing unlike an overgrown one with hanging branches. You also control the trees growth.
When you trim a tree during winter you help to increase its growth rate. You can also trim in the summer if you would like to limit a tree’s growth.
Tress at times blocks sunlight from reaching your house. Trimming the branches that obstruct light will allow you to save on power as you enjoy natural light.
Trimming trees also encourages new growth, prevents decay, and makes the tree structurally sound.