Can I Prune Trees in the Summer?

Can I Prune Trees in the Summer?

September 10, 2020

There’s still just a bit of summer warmth left, which provides a sense of urgency for many homeowners to take care of some landscaping jobs before the cooler weather begins to roll in. As such, you may be wondering if you can take care of tree pruning in Paso Robles, CA now rather than waiting until later.

Generally, tree specialists recommend you wait to prune trees until they go dormant, though there are some circumstances in which summer pruning can be appropriate.

Here is a quick overview of what you should know.

What to know about seasonal tree pruning

In general, you’re going to want to hold off on any really heavy pruning, unless you have any unsafe branches or have a fruit tree. However, you can remove some small branches at any time during the summer, so long as you do so safely and correctly.

If you prune too much in the summer, you run the risk of having a thinner tree next year, as it removes the total number of leaves, resulting in less food to the tree for growth in the following year. Summer is also the biggest time of year for insects and diseases that could damage your trees. If you have fresh, open cuts in the tree during the summer months, it could make your tree more susceptible to pests and disease, especially for certain kinds of trees, like oak. So, if you have no choice but to prune over the summer, you should make sure to paint the pruning cuts so they do not attract pests.

That being said, there are some situations in which pruning can make sense. Weak or broken branches should always be dealt with as soon as possible. If your tree is forming an odd shape, you can begin making a few small cuts now, but still hold back on large cuts until dormancy. And if the tree is getting too large, reducing the leaves to stunt growth can actually be helpful.

There are also certain types of trees that can be pruned in the summer without as much cause for concern:

  • Fruit trees: Small trims can be helpful to fruit trees during the summer, but you should be aware that this will likely result in a reduced fruit yield for the year.
  • Hardwoods with sap: Maple, birch and walnut trees occasionally prefer summertime pruning, because otherwise they will lose lots of sap during winter pruning.
  • Any trees with dead wood: If you spot dead or dying limbs, you should remove those right away.
  • Evergreen trees: These trees can be lightly pruned in the summer, but again, the general rule is to always leave heavy pruning for the dormant season.

Interested in learning more about how to deal with tree pruning and when the best time is to accomplish it? Neumann & Sons Tree Service encourages you to contact our experienced and trusted tree service in Paso Robles, CA with any questions you have, and we will be happy to provide you with further information.

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