It is commonly believed that trees should not be pruned in the summer months. In most cases, the ideal time for heavy pruning is in the winter when the tree is in a dormant state before the spring buds appear. However, there are some varieties that flourish if trimmed in mid-summer.
Here we’ll list some instances in which trees can be cut back in the summer months:
Pruning overhanging limbs over walkways
If some branches have grown too heavy and droop over a walkway, you will want to cut them back significantly. The term for this is to head the limbs up. That means you cut the lower branches off right at the tree trunk. This would be something you can do at any time of the year since it will just be a few branches.
If that feels too extreme for branches that hang too low you could trim them back to another branch or a fork. It’s strongly recommended that you don’t leave behind a stub.
It’s important to know that if the remaining limb gets no sunlight, it’s best to remove the entire thing because the leaves will not receive enough sunlight to keep the limb alive.
Pruning storm-damaged trees
Summer storms can wreak havoc on all trees. In that case, it’s best to trim the damaged section immediately. You don’t want a large damaged branch to endanger people or property. Use the same technique as mentioned above and cut damaged branches back to an existing fork or branch or remove the entire limb.
If it’s a large tree and the branch is too high, it’s better to engage a professional with the right equipment. A damaged limb can fall in an unpredictable manner, not just straight down. It could also damage other surrounding, healthy branches if not taken down properly.’
A professional will tie off the branches before cutting so that they can be safely lowered to the ground.
Pruning dead limbs
These should be removed at any point, regardless of the season. This would eradicate any diseases or risk of injuries from falling limbs. A rotting branch can take years to fall on its own naturally. You don’t want un ugly stub left behind!
Ideally, it is best to remove dead branches every couple of years to maintain safety and/or aesthetics.
Which trees should be pruned in summer?
Walnut, Maple and Birch trees are some of the species that are best pruned in mid-summer.
When their branches are trimmed they generally ooze sap, making it more prudent to trim when the sap is not flowing.
It would seem that the fall would be the best time to prune, however, the tree needs time in the summer months to heal the wound, that would make it easy prey for pests and disease.
With these species the canopy can be thinned, you can head them up or the cross branches can be dealt with before they cause trouble. Or it can be done to decrease the size, or just be shaped.
It’s best to trim out about a quarter of the entire canopy at any given time.
Avoid trimming oaks in summer
Due to vulnerability to disease, it’s best not to cut into Oaks from April through October. Pests are attracted to open wounds in the wood.
Oak Wilt is deadly, so it’s advisable to hold off until winter months to do any pruning of an Oak tree.
If there are dead branches you can make an exception whenever needed.
Best time of year to prune fruit trees
For long-established fruit trees, it’s best to trim them in the late winter, ideally right before they start budding. If you cut them in the fall or early winter when the tree is not growing, it won’t have the ability to heal the wound.
When to prune evergreens
With the exception of pines, most evergreens should be pruned before the new growth period in the spring to mid-summer in dormancy.
For pine trees, you’ll want to trim the new growth candles in the springtime.
If you’ve got any questions, or you would like some help with your tree trimming needs please feel free to contact us.