Call us: 07794 743952

1. Best time to trim your tree

best time to trim trees
trim tree

It may seem like a good idea to seize the opportunity of bare branches to do some trimming, however this isn’t always the case. In fact trimming can cause numerous problems for your tree

There are so many variations of trees and it might be ok to trim some of them back during the autumn. However, there’s a notable difference between trimming pine trees or fruit trees as the effects will change, depending on the tree. Usually, if you’re wanting to avoid potentially damaging consequences, you will want to prune your trees in the early spring or late winter.

A Tree Year

What happens in a ‘tree year’ is that it is dormant in winter. Meaning there is very little sap movement through the tree and it slowly uses the energy that it has stored during the other months of the year. This is used to generate growth for the buds in spring.

This means that a warm, early spring is a bad time to prune as it takes away the necessary energy to form new leaves. The other time of year when it’s not a good idea to prune a tree is autumn because it’s trying to use the last remaining photosynthesis to store energy throughout wintertime.

So if you prune too hard, you’re cutting off part of it’s essential supply of plant starches which sustains it through the cold winter months. So for most species, the least risky time is in wintertime. However, this doesn’t apply for every species of tree. For example, lime trees are susceptible to the winter cold, their dormancy doesn’t protect them. So you will want to do your research before taking the tool to the tree.

Below we go into more details on the different tree aspects:

All you need to know about whether to trim your trees

Althorough pruning is a natural, healthy part of normal tree maintenance. It has many benefits like ridding your tree of any unhealthy deadwood, it can clear space for younger branches to thrive and it will give your tree a neater appearance overall.

However, there are aspects that need to be taken into account. Any time a branch is cut away, it will temporarily wound the tree. This is why it’s important to trim your foliage at the right time so you can cause your tree the least damage possible.

Why Autumn trimming is a bad idea

So why is autumn pruning a bad idea? This is because the reaction of the trees when they are cut so close to the cold winter months. Usually, when a dead branch is lost, the tree will speedily start regenerating however it doesn’t work like this when trees are trimmed in the fall.

This is because as the cold sets in, the tree shuts down and goes into hibernation mode. This means that it won’t have it’s natural protection methods against infection and pests, making it more vunerable. As the tree struggles to repair it’s cut surfaces, it will be more prone to freezing and be generally more exposed to the elements.

Pruning tips

There are various trimming techniques. A tree surgeon will be required if you are wanting a bigger change to your tree. However smaller pruning can be done at home but you must be careful to use the right tools.

Ensure that you only use sharp, clean tools when cutting your dead branches since a clean cut will give your tree a better chance against infection. Also, don’t cut more than is required, it might be a good idea to call a tree surgeon in the give you a professional opinion on the care that your tree needs.

When should the tree be trimmed?

So we’ve told you when not to trim a tree. But when do you trim it then? Waiting through the autumn into the winter is a good idea since when the tree is dormant it won’t have the difficulty of trying to regrow branches in the cold. Or spring pruning when all the shoots are growing up anyway and the warmer temperatures will give your tree a good head start.

Another good time is summer (as outlined in the blog below). This is definitely a great time to prune your tree since the weather will be warmer and the light lasts for longer. It’s the best growing time and your tree will feel the effects much less then otherwise.

For more information on tree trimming, visit some of the links below:

Arboricultural Association – Guide to Tree Pruning (

Trimming Trees in Spring: Is It Okay to Trim Trees in Spring? | Davey Tree

Or have a look at another one of our pages which covers a difference aspect of the subject:

The 6 great benefits of summer tree pruning – Roots and Shoots Manchester

You might also enjoy