Tree trimming is one of the many tasks homeowners and arborists take on in April. However, not all trees benefit from pruning this time of year.
Cherry trees love a good trimming now, while willows are prone to over-growing if pollarded too early in the year.
Deciduous trees enjoy trimming in late winter/early spring, from February through early April in Utah. However, if you overlook pruning and it’s already late April, wait. Deciduous trees start to “leaf out” as the weather warms, so energy reserves are slight, and bark damage is slow to heal. (Heads up: You’ll also want to avoid pruning deciduous trees during leaf drop in the autumn).
Maple trees tend to bleed excessively if pruned this time of year, but that bleeding isn’t harmful. The sap will slow down and stop by summer, but some homeowners can be put off by such a heavy flow.
If you have oak trees and missed the 2017 pruning season, avoid pruning between April and July. Spring pruning attracts beetles that can carry fungus to cuts, spreading tree diseases. Oak trees should ideally be trimmed in February and March.
Tree Trimming by Species
Evergreen trees like firs and spruces like to be pruned in the late winter. Make sure these trees are still dormant when you trim them. If you’re doing it yourself, look for side/lateral buds on spruces and firs. Always cut directly above one of these lateral buds or a branch.
If you have pines, wait until June/July when you can see the new growth in “candle stage.” To reduce yearly growth, pinch off about half of the candle.
For lower branches you’d like to remove, late winter is the perfect time to tackle them. In Utah, winters can linger, so if trees are still dormant in early April, it’s safe to remove these sometimes hazardous and unattractive branches.
Tree trimming for fruit trees can be done from February through early April. If you wait until fall or early winter, fruit trees can become vulnerable to cold weather injuries. A little early spring pruning is a great way to encourage large, healthy harvests for the year. In addition to tree trimming, April is also prime time to take care of additional tree care tasks.
Evaluate your trees and see if any are starting to leaf (or not). A tree that should be leafing and isn’t can be a warning sign of a diseased or even dead tree. However, this is a diagnosis that only an arborist can make.
You’ll also be able to see fungi in April. Notice any unusual growths? It’s likely that new fungi isn’t widespread yet, thanks to winter weather. Take care of fungi as soon as you spot it to save your trees.
Contact Reliable Tree Care for all your tree trimming, pruning and diagnostic needs.