What are the rules for fall tree pruning? So, should you schedule this task (or undertake it yourself) in the coming weeks?
Many homeowners believe it’s a good idea to prune once the leaves drop, as leafless branches have all of their imperfections exposed, making it easy to see where to cut. However, certified arborists don’t always believe that fall tree pruning is advisable.
Why Heavy Fall Pruning Is Not Recommended
Certified arborists advise taking a cautious approach to pruning in the fall.
Heavy pruning in multiple areas should wait and, depending on which species reside on your property, you may want to avoid using the pruners at all during the autumn months.
Heavy fall pruning can lead to future tree health problems. Branch wounds heal more slowly in the fall than they do at other times of year. And, during the fall, decay fungi can spread more easily and profusely.
When Light Fall Tree Pruning Can Be Beneficial
According to the Arbor Day Foundation, a nonprofit organization devoted to planting and nurturing trees, light tree pruning can be done during the fall or any other time of the year that it becomes necessary.
It’s important to note that light pruning involves only the removal of dead and severely damaged wood. This means that, during the fall months, you’re usually safe to cut off twigs, limbs and branches that are too far gone to recover once springtime returns.
Timing Your Tree Pruning
So, if not the fall, when should you prune your trees?
This depends largely on which species live on your property. As a general guideline, however, pruning after the coldest part of winter is an arborist-recommended approach for encouraging vigorous new growth in the spring.
Trees can also be pruned during the summer, after the finish of seasonal growth. Summertime pruning is done to direct growth or to slow the development of specific branches.
Certified arborists also prune frequently to enhance flowering. Spring bloomers are pruned once their flowers fade, usually around the middle of summer. For summer-flowering trees, pruning may be completed in either the wintertime or during the early spring months.
Do you have questions on tree pruning? A Utah certified arborist is your best resource for expert answers and advice. With more than two decades of experience, Reliable Tree Care is the go-to northern Utah industry leader.
The highly-skilled Reliable Tree Care crew can keep your trees growing healthy and strong all year long. If you live in the greater Salt Lake City area, contact our Murray office today to discuss fall tree pruning with one of our expert certified arborists.