The Best Time of Year to Prune Trees

What are the Benefits of Pruning?

Firstly, let’s address why pruning is a healthy and often necessary practice for trees and shrubs. Depending on the type of tree you have, there may be different methods of pruning and there will be a best time of year to prune trees depending on the species. In order to prune trees properly, you will also need the right equipment and sometimes hiring a professional saves you money and time in the long run. However, the benefits of pruning include:

Promoting Tree Health

Disease Prevention: Pruning removes dead or diseased branches, reducing the risk of infections spreading to healthy parts of the tree.

Enhanced Air Circulation: Thinning the crown through pruning improves air circulation, reducing the likelihood of fungal diseases.

Insect Control: Pruning allows for the early detection and removal of branches infested with pests, preventing the spread of infestations throughout the tree.

Aesthetic Appeal

Shape and Structure: Pruning helps maintain a desired shape and structure, enhancing the overall appearance of the tree.

Removal of Unwanted Growth: Trimming away excess foliage can create a more visually pleasing and balanced tree.

Improved View: Trimming branches can open up views, whether it's for aesthetic enjoyment or enhancing visibility for safety reasons.


Prevents Hazardous Conditions: Regular pruning eliminates weak, dead, or overhanging branches that could pose a safety hazard during storms or high winds.

Reduces Risk of Falling Limbs: Removing heavy or weak limbs minimises the risk of branches breaking and falling unexpectedly.

pruning trees
best time of year to prune trees

Increase Sunlight Penetration

Encourages Growth: Thinning the canopy allows more sunlight to reach the inner branches, promoting healthier growth and development.

Beneficial for Understory Plants: Improved sunlight penetration benefits plants growing beneath the tree by providing them with the necessary light for photosynthesis.

Enhance Fruit Production

Fruit Quality: Proper pruning of fruit trees can improve the quality and size of fruits by redirecting energy to the most productive branches.

Increased Yield: Thinning excess branches allows the tree to focus its resources on fewer fruit-bearing branches, leading to a higher yield.


Extends Lifespan: Regular maintenance through pruning can contribute to the overall health and longevity of a tree by addressing potential issues early on.

the tree doctors pruning and trimming

So, When is the Best Time to Prune Trees?

In autumn and winter, the growth of trees almost comes to a halt as they enter a dormant stage. It is in these low temperatures that pruning certain trees is ideal. This is because the tree is less stressed and it’s easier to see its structure without the leaves. It’s also recommended because when the warmer seasons bring out its buds and leaves, the tree will grow better, having had a trim and you can enjoy the flowering and new foliage it has to show. In the winter, trees are less susceptible to disease and pest infestations too.

It's important to note though, that some trees can be pruned in summer and spring. Certain large trees benefit from being pruned in their maturity in late spring to the end of summer. Trees that produce sap or resin are best pruned in the summer to protect the wounds from the cold.

If you need to trim your trees but aren’t sure when the best time of year to prune your tree is, give us a call! For a healthy, long-lasting tree, you should consider the type of tree…

Flowering Trees: Prune after flowering to avoid removing potential flower buds and to allow the tree to set buds for the next season.

Evergreen Trees: Light pruning can be done in late winter or early spring, but avoid heavy pruning during the growing season.

Oak Trees: In some regions, pruning oak trees is best done during the dormant season to reduce the risk of oak wilt disease transmission by sap-feeding beetles.

Maple Trees: Prune in late summer to early winter to minimise sap bleeding.

In general, it is advisable to refrain from pruning trees while they have leaves, especially when the cuts or wounds may be exposed to harsh conditions like frost, drought, and periods of fungal sporulation, particularly in the autumn season. The best time of year to prune your trees will vary and it’s always a good idea to seek advice and do your research.

How the Tree Doctors Can Help...

Tree Surgery

We have all of the experience and expertise you need to successfully treat a number of tree issues with our tree surgery service. This includes stump grinding, dead wooding, pruning, storm damage recovery and more.

Hedge Maintenance

The Tree Doctors take pleasure in offering pruning and shaping services for trees and hedges, providing a distinct and attractive look to your greenery. This hedge maintenance service is applicable for both residential gardens and commercial spaces. A properly maintained and trimmed hedgerow not only addresses neighbour conflicts but also enhances the overall appearance of the surrounding area.

Dead Wooding & Pruning

Regardless of its origin, an excessive accumulation of deadwood poses significant hazards, as the lifeless branches are prone to falling unexpectedly. As arborists, we can assist in executing a safe and responsible dead wooding service, drawing on our expertise and commitment to quality.

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