Choosing the best time of year to prune trees can be a balancing act to make sure you support strong growth. 

Spring is a natural time of year for people to turn their thoughts to garden and grounds maintenance.

And a tree that has become overgrown with unsightly- or even dangerously overhanging branches – will quickly grab your attention. 

Early action is the best solution and the start of spring is a prime time to prune trees in need of some overdue attention – although it all depends on the species. 

Why is spring a good time to prune trees? 

The most important factor in considering when to prune a tree is to minimise any damage and ensure pruning supports the tree’s growth. 

Pruning a tree at the wrong time of the year can sometimes cause damage as it interferes with the natural growth cycle and how the tree will harvest its reserves through the winter – or support new growth.

As new growth generally occurs in plants in the spring, the earliest part of spring is a good time to look at any work that needs doing. 

March and April usually leave enough time for tree pruning to take place before the sunnier weather encourages swifter growth. 

With better weather, and problem areas on a tree more visible, the early months of spring are ideal for thinning trees and removing damaged branches to allow trees to make the most of the fertile summer months.

Well-timed, considerate tree pruning in spring will help trees to grow in a strong and even structure.   

Pruning trees in spring is an ideal time to:

  • Help plants to access more sunlight by managing the flow of light through cutting back thick branches
  • Identify dead, decaying or broken tree branches as the signs of new growth appear on healthy branches
  • Control and maintain the growth of most evergreen trees, hedges and bushes
  • Make structural changes in your garden

Caution: Be wary of new growth when pruning trees in spring

Not all trees are suited to being pruned in the spring, however, which makes using a professional tree surgeon invaluable. 

A tree surgeon will be able to advise you on the best course of action to care for a particular tree, which may mean pruning it in the autumn, winter or summer depending on the species. 

The problems are related to how quickly the tree can heal itself from any pruning work – and if pruning could actually damage new growth. 

Always be wary of the signs of new foliage appearing on tree branches when considering pruning as this is an integral part of the way in which a tree receives and distributes nutrients.

A professional tree surgeon will always tell you the best time to prune a tree as carrying out heavy pruning on a tree in bloom could seriously harm it. 

Spring pruning can also leave some trees vulnerable to disease or insect attacks. 

Species such as birch, oak and sycamore, for example, should be pruned in the late autumn or winter.  

To avoid damage to trees and to ensure the best results always use a professional tree surgeon.

Garden Busters are fully trained tree surgeons working at commercial and domestic properties across the West Midlands.

To make an appointment for one of our specialists to assess any trees that may need work carried out on them please get in touch.

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