What is the best time for tree trimming?

Tree trimming can be done in any season even when the tree is in its dormant cycle, but in most cases, the best time to trim trees is in the Winter. The same goes for most other plants that you are likely to have in your landscape, so the best time to prune trees and shrubs is also in the Winter.

Early spring is also a good time to schedule tree care service, the main goal is to trim trees while it's dormant in order to prepare the tree for new growth. Some species thrive when trimming is done during specific times of the year. In general, you want to plan tree pruning around the specific tree problem you're going to address. Tree trimming can be done during any season, even when the tree's growth cycle is over.

Why is it a good idea to trim and prune trees?

Trimming trees promotes the overall health of the tree. Hiring certified arborists will ensure that your trees do not get pruned at the wrong time and that your plants are healthy and look great. It's important to remove dead branches and any parts of the tree that have disease in order to keep your trees healthy. Certified arborists will also be able to provide you with tips and advice on tree service so that your trees will last a long time.

Tree care is important for the health of certain species to be pruned at a certain time of year. Dead or diseased branches pose a health risk to the tree and a safety risk to people and the property. It's important to remove dead or disease-causing branches as soon as possible. Failing to cut off diseased branches increases the risk of disease spreading to other parts of the tree and potentially killing the tree.

Is there a best time to trim a particular species of tree?

ISA's tree-pruning guide gives a guide to how and where to trim trees. The ISA says the best time for pruning is in late winter before a spring flowering. Each cut can change the way a tree grows and spread diseases. No branch should be cut without a clear reason. Oak trees have oak wilt and most trees suffer from tree wilt, which are just a few of the main reasons that you should schedule tree care service with a professional arborist. Shaping trees is also a way to reduce air and light pollution in the tree's crown or to the crown of a home. Homeowners prune dead branches and limbs to make the tree look better and grow stronger and improve safety.


Deciduous trees should be pruned in late fall to winter. They have entered their dormant season and it's easy to see the framework of the branches. This is because the activity of insects and disease is gone. Pruning deciduous trees should be done in late autumn to winter after the leaves have fallen off. Tree service companies can actually prune deciduous trees anytime during the dormant season but they need to keep in mind that dead branches and limbs won't heal as easily when it's cold outside.

Deciduous trees should be pruned in autumn after their leaves have fallen because this is when it's easier to see the framework of the branches.

Deciduous pruning can create a fuller tree that's more structurally stable and less vulnerable to disease. Some people think that only the trees with leaves should be pruned but there are some simple things you can do during spring and summer to cut back the size of some of your trees.

Even during the growing season, deciduous trees often need simple pruning to get rid of dead twigs and branches that could fall on people walking below or attached homes.

Testing for disease can be done on portions of the tree. If the tree is diseased, there are many things you can do to decide how best to treat it. Some diseases mean that the whole tree needs to be taken down and some just affect a portion of the tree. It's best to avoid removing trees as tree removal costs can be quite expensive.

Oak Trees

Pruning season for oak trees is during the dormant season, which is late fall or winter. Winter pruning is important to avoid oak wilt and other diseases that can infect an oak tree with open wounds. Contracting a disease during or shortly after tree pruning should not be an issue for a healthy tree.

Oak tree branches should always be cut back to a strong lateral branch or bud. When cutting back into the main trunk, it is important not to damage any major water veins in the oak tree's trunk. Oak trees are generally very healthy and hardy so they require less pruning than other trees such as maple trees.

Oak trees are vulnerable to many diseases including oak wilt, oak anthracnose, fusarium canker and gall insects. The main reason to prune an oak tree is to control its size or shape by removing diseased or dead branches and opening the canopy for more sunlight. Depending on the species of oak tree, late fall or winter is the ideal time for pruning because this is when the tree has lower energy reserves and therefore can heal faster.

Elm Trees

It's safer to trim elm trees during the dead of winter as most diseases that affect elms aren't active during this time. With that said, proper pruning with sanitized equipment should be enough to keep elm trees from spreading disease.

Maple Trees

Maple trees are an exception to the rule, they should not be pruned during the winter. The best time to trim maple trees is in the Summer.

Fruit trees

If you have fruit trees, it's best to prune them in late winter. Fruit trees can be pruned in the summertime, but only when they are dormant. Pruning fruit trees can be tricky during the summer, as trees have more sap flowing through them and cutting into a fruit tree can cause it to bleed.

When pruning your fruit trees, remember to leave 6 inches of air space between branches. This will allow for proper airflow in order to prevent disease from attacking the tree as well as for proper air circulation. In addition, you should leave one or two branches on each branch. This will help to keep the tree from having a large limb mass and losing most of its fruit because the weight of all the fruit prevents it from growing much larger while fruiting.

The Best Time to Trim Trees in Subtropical Climates

In Subtropical climates like Florida and California, trees are trimmed year-round because many trees will grow year-round there. A good rule of thumb is to never remove more than 30 percent of live tissue from a tree in any season. This makes sure that overall your tree will be able to grow, and fruit or flower when it is desired.

The Best Time to Trim Trees in Temperate Climates

In Temperate climates like mine in Northern Illinois, the best time to trim trees is usually after winter dormancy when new growth has come out of the buds for that season. The reason to trim then is that at this time of year the tree has completed its period of bulk growth for that growing season. Removing a small amount of live tissue will not impact your tree's ability to grow and produce fruit or flowers later in the season.

Young trees

Trees that get the right amount of pruning while they are young will need less trimming as they grow older and mature. Ask your professional when the trimming should be done depending on your area of the country.

Flowering trees

The best time to trim flowering or blooming trees is right after the blooms have fallen and before new growth starts. This prevents the loss of flower buds for next season's bloom. The trees will still require some annual pruning to remove dead wood and to maintain the correct shape, but you will notice that you can trim much less from your flowering trees than from fruit trees.

Growth helps your trees to develop strong and healthy wood that can better withstand disease and adverse weather conditions. If you have an unhealthy tree, it is best to call a certified arborist for advice on how to treat the problem.

Trimming trees in the spring and summer

Spring tree trimming allows for easy identification of problematic branches before the tree has fully leafed out. Some trees that flower in early summer are better to trim in summer because of their ability to form more flower buds if trimmed shortly after spring flowers have faded. If flowering bothers you, tree injections can keep the tree looking great without the cleanup later. Trimming these species of trees in summer avoids the sticky mess you might experience within other seasons.

Need to get a tree trimmed?

Corkd helps thousands of homeowners save on tree trimming each month. Whether you need your trees trimmed in the Winter (the cheapest time) or the Summer (the most expensive) Corkd can help you save hundreds of dollars. To start comparing quotes from the best local tree trimming companies near you, simply complete the quick quote request form and you'll get prices in a few minutes.