Pruning Trees in the Spring – Not the Best Time

Spring is here! And we are noticing that our trees are budding out and starting to grow. We now notice them, while in the winter they seemed so docile, now they may look like they need to be managed with a little pruning.

Spring is the worst time to prune your trees! The trees are spending a lot of energy in producing the new spring growth. Pruning them during this time of growth keeps the tree from recouping its “investment” in the carbohydrate producing factories – the new leaves. Also, springtime is also active insect time and open wounds on trees can be attractive to certain pests looking for a place to call home. Live Oaks and Red Oaks should not be pruned in the spring due to the activity of the beetles that can transmit Oak Wilt Disease.

Wait until summer to prune your trees and better yet, wait until fall when the leaves have done their work and the tree has a good return on its investment in those leaves that will soon fall.

Winter is also a very good time to prune your trees. Spring is the worst time and it can actually hurt your trees to prune in spring!

Scott Geer

Scott Geer

Scott Geer has a master's degree in forestry from Stephen F. Austin State University and is an ISA Board Certified Master Arborist.® He is also a graduate of the American Society of Consulting Arborists Academy.