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What is the ideal time to Prune a Tree?

When we choose to undertake pruning our trees, the first concern is always the health of the tree. Indeed, there are rules to follow, there is a way and an amount to be cut diseased or dead branches, weak forks and co-dominant heads etc. What about time for pruning? Are there a more propitious time for leaf mass kidnapping in a tree? It depends on the type of tree, but especially the type of work to be undertaken. We will also see that every season has its advantages and disadvantages for tree surgery. This short article aims to reassure the tree owners that pruning can be done all year without damaging the tree.

The rules of art to prune

Generally, if the rules of the art of arboriculture are met, pruning can be done safely in any season. The main rule to follow is the maximum percentage of live branches to remove. Thus, if pruning is done by removing less than 20% of leaf mass, pruning can be done anytime. By cons, if circumstances require removing beyond that percentage, it will be the dormant period, in winter or early spring.


The prevailing idea is that winter is the best time for pruning, and for good reason. Indeed, the tree is dormant, which means, among other things, that the sap of the tree is stored in the root system . The branches of cuts, severe or not, will therefore have no impact on the sap reserves. Then, the winter offers the advantage of reducing the risk of tearing branches when cutting. This advantage is not worth for the professional arborist who knows cutting without tearing in all situations.

In short, whether to remove a substantial portion of the tree, winter is ideal to meet the sap reserves. Yet this reserve sap unbalanced then found in connection with the living mass, the tree will indeed have a sap surplus. He may form a more intensive, that is to say the rapid growth that consume a lot of sap and do not respect the structure of the tree. We must therefore ask for a second procedure to remove them.

Another detail that must be taken into consideration for the size in winter is that the dormant position also prevents the tree to heal the scene cuts. The tree then remains exposed longer to fungi and diseases. Pruning in winter is not a panacea.

Spring, summer, fall

If we meet a limit of 20% of leaf mass removal, there is no reason to make a scruple of the season for pruning. For example, the summer offers the advantage rapid healing of cuts, as this is the period of vegetation and growth. You can count on this advantage at the onset of the first shoots until the end of August. Thus, the summer is ideal to limit the spread of disease through the openings created by the cuts.

In addition, the sap being discharged with the branches, in reasonable quantities, allow the shaft to maintain a proportional ratio between the sap and the leaf mass, preventing thereby the appearance of gourmands. In addition, when the arborist is in a green tree, dead wood is easier to detect and thus remove.

Exceptions: the pruning of fruit trees

Some situations require more rigorous observation of the seasons. For example, an owner of an orchard want to ensure that the pruning does not result in a loss of harvest or decrease the quality of fruit. It will choose the early spring to prune his trees, so that apples grow in abundance thanks to sap reserves. If you have an apple and you are amateur farmer watching season is for you!


The important thing seems to remain the rules of art, if put into practice, we can prune trees in all seasons. Several companies are closing pruning winter for safety reasons, but the pros and cons of pruning in winter allow to remain confident to appeal to a grower regardless of the time of year. To hire professionals you can look for tree service milton. They provide best service at affordable prices. Visit their official website at