Is It Okay To Prune Trees in Spring?

You can’t sit and watch the trees in your garden grow out of space; you will need to prune it at some point. To ensure the quality production of fruit trees, you need to prune the fruit tree. When you prune, you reduce the number of competing fruits, maintain the health of the tree, improve the appearance of the tree, and safeguard nearby structures. However, knowing the right time to do this is crucial to the health of the tree. Read on to discover if it’s okay to prune trees in spring, the type of trees to prune, the ideal time to prune, and other information to protect your tree health.

Is It Okay To Prune Trees in Spring?

Although, it is not always appropriate to prune trees during spring, especially trees like oak and sycamore. Nevertheless, under some circumstances, it is okay to prune trees during spring. However, make sure you do not remove more than 10% of the tree branches. If not done perfectly, you might put the tree at the risk of pest and disease infection. The following are some of the ideal circumstances when you can prune your tree during spring.

Safety concerns

The fact that you want trees to grow in your garden doesn’t mean you should compromise your safety and that of your family. You shouldn’t wait till spring before you prune any tree that threatens your safety and the outlook of your property. Do not wait until spring before you remove dead branches, decaying trees, and other outgrown branches that threaten your home.

The type of tree

There are some types of trees such as walnut, maple, and sap-bearing trees that should be pruned during spring. Though many people believe that such trees should be pruned in late spring when all the leaves have shown, pruning it early, however, will not harm the tree as long as you engaged a reliable tree trimming expert. Nevertheless, flowering trees are best pruned in springtime after they have bloomed.

Before the tree blooms

Before the full arrival of spring, you can still do dormant pruning. This will wade off diseases from the tree and help nurture the tree throughout the year. However, make sure the tree has not shown any sign of blooming.

Minimal trimming

Though springtime is not the ideal time to prune trees because they will be vulnerable to attacks. However, you can still prune recommended species of trees if you will not prune more than 10% of the branches.  

What are the ideal species of trees that can be pruned during spring?

Trees grow at different schedules and stay healthy if they are under ideal conditions. Except you are pruning trees under the circumstances highlighted above, you should only prune the following trees during springtime.

Peach trees

More than any fruit tree, the peach tree needs regular pruning. It is safe to prune them early in the spring so that new leaves will develop and the tree will stay healthy. Apart from staying healthy, you should also prune peach trees because of the fruits’ quality. When you prune it early in the spring, the number of harvests for the year will reduce but the quality will increase. 

Cherry trees

This is another ideal tree for pruning in the spring, preferably early spring. Moreover, you can also prune it at the last stage of winter. Apart from maintaining healthy fruit production, pruning the tree will also encourage the growth of additional branches of fruit production.

Apple trees

Like many other fruit trees, the apple tree should also be pruned at the beginning of spring. Doing this will allow the tree to put more resources into fruit growth, have a stronger boom and increase fruit harvest. When you want to do this, you should focus more on dead branches and the ones that are not growing outwards. Also, do not prune more than 40% of the branches.

Other trees

There are other trees such as lilacs, trumpet vine, wisteria, and many others that could be pruned during the spring season.

Which trees are not to be pruned during spring?

Due to the pattern of growth, vulnerability to pests and diseases, and some other conditions, you should not prune some trees during spring. Highlighted below are some of such trees.

Oak trees

During springtime, many bugs and pests become active. Pruning oak trees during such time then becomes a bad idea because of its vulnerability to a disease called oak wilt. For instance, after pruning, the bugs will start feeding on the sap of the tree, thereby attacking the tree in the process. This will impede the growth of the tree and might eventually kill the tree, if not managed properly. It is recommended that you only prune oak during winter or prune only half-dead branches during spring, if necessary.

Elm trees

The scent of newly pruned elm trees attracts elm bark bees, which might infect the tree with the disease. Barring any other circumstances, it is advisable that you only prune elm trees during winter.

Other trees

Trees such as magnolia, chokecherry, apricot, and many others are not ideal for pruning during the spring season.  

When is the ideal time to prune during spring?

Though the ideal time for pruning during spring depends on the tree and its pattern of growth, Nevertheless, it is recommended that you prune early into the season so as not to distort the growth of the tree. However, if you must prune a tree late into the spring season, you should be careful and make sure you do not cut more than 10%.

What are the common things that should be pruned from trees?

Knowing the right thing to prune is a great way to start pruning. Below are some of the common things you should focus on while pruning the tree.

  • Young branches that are not needed.
  • Water sprouts and suckers.
  • Old trees that are not needed again in the garden.
  • Broken, diseased, dead, or dying branches.
  • Any branch that grows in a manner you do not like or threatens your safety.

Conclusion

As has been highlighted in this article, some trees are not ideal for trimming during springtime. However, you shouldn’t go ahead pruning your tree when you are unsure if spring is ideal for it. You should seek help from a tree specialist to determine if spring is the right time to prune your tree.

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