Trees typically go through a growing season and a dormant season. Generally speaking, it is preferable to prune trees during the dormant season to protect them from disease, infestation, or stress. However, there are exceptions to every rule. In some cases, it may be acceptable to prune your trees during the spring. For some trees, it may even be beneficial. However, you have to do spring pruning properly or you could do more harm than good. When in doubt, consult a professional pruning service in Waterloo for guidance.
What Types of Trees Should You Avoid Pruning in the Spring?
While pruning is intended to improve a tree’s health, it does cause wounds that take a while for the tree to heal. During this time, the tree is under stress and more vulnerable to diseases or insect infestation. Therefore, trees that are already susceptible should not be pruned during the spring at all as it increases the risks of infestation or infection.
Specifically, elms, honeylocust trees, oaks, pear trees, and sycamores should not be pruned in the spring. They are susceptible to potentially deadly diseases, and if you expose them, you may have to investigate the benefits of cutting down trees.
What Types of Trees Benefit From Pruning in Spring?
If you have trees or shrubs that bloom in the spring, such as lilac, chokecherry, crabapple, and apricot trees, pruning them in the winter when they are dormant prevents them from blooming fully during their appointed season. Therefore, you should wait until after their blooming season is over to prune them, or later if you plan to harvest their fruit.
There are other trees that tend to ooze sap if they are pruned in the winter or the early spring. These include birches, maples, and walnut trees. If you do not want to have to deal with the mess that the oozing sap can cause, you can prune these trees later in the spring once all their leaves for the season have come in. Sap bleeding does not harm the tree either way, so it is a matter of personal preference whether your choose to prune in the winter and face the mess or wait until after the leaves come in.
What Should Be Your Goal for Pruning in Spring?
If you decide to prune your trees in the spring, you should have one of two purposes in mind:
- Aesthetics: You can lightly prune trees in the spring to preserve sightlines, maintain clearance, or improve the tree’s shape.
- Safety: In the interest of safety and your tree’s overall health, you can remove branches that are broken, dead, or decaying.
How Much Can You Remove From Your Tree When Pruning in Spring?
To prevent limiting your tree’s bloom potential, you should avoid removing more than 10% of the branches with pruning. Removing more than this may subject your tree to undue stress. The wounds left behind from pruning can close faster when your tree is in a period of rapid growth, which is an argument in favour of spring pruning for trees that are not as susceptible to disease. However, stress from removing too many branches can slow down a tree’s growth.
What Can You Do To Protect Your Tree From Infection When Pruning?
To avoid exposing fresh tree wounds to pathogens, you should sanitize your pruning tools when you are finished with one tree before you start to work on another. Unsanitized pruning tools can contaminate healthy trees and spread infections around your yard.
Contact Martin’s Tree Service for Pruning Service in Waterloo
With so many variables to consider, you may feel overwhelmed about the prospect of spring pruning. If you’re wondering, “Where can I hire a tree pruning service near me?” contact Martin’s Tree Service in Waterloo and the surrounding area.