Stop Fall Tree Pruning | Save The Trees!

Stop Fall Tree Pruning

If you’re wondering how much pruning your tree needs in the fall, this post will make clear exactly how much you need.

Fall is that time of year that really makes people want to start pruning more than a vampire craves blood. With the fall garden clean up starting, maybe it might be all the mulching raking that is causing people to go insane. Before you begin hacking at your bushes and trees, take a bit of advice from a gardening expert.

Fall Tree Pruning

The rules for fall pruning is simple. Just don’t prune during the fall. That means nothing, zilch, zero, nada during the fall. That goes for plants and shrubs and even trees. Make a sign that states leave the pruning alone until winter or spring. There isn’t any type of exceptions. Don’t prune during the fall.

If you feel as if you got scolded by a teacher, then let that be a reminder that fall isn’t the time that you are supposed to trim your shrubs and trees, even though that the leaves that have fallen off have really exposed the imperfections. Put those pruning shears back into your shed until winter or longer. Below are a few pruning basics that you can use whenever it is time to trim back your shrubs and trees which is much safer:

Understand why Fall isn’t the best time to prune

It should be stressed that pruning your shrubs and trees now will stimulate new growth when your plants are trying to go dormant and this will weaken your plant. If you prune during a warm day then sap will rise up through your plant then the temperature drops to below freezing at night and then you don’t have anything that is pretty.

Instead of pruning in the fall, prune in the dead of winter or during early spring. That is if you can stop yourself. Spring bloomers will often get their haircut after they have finished flowering, but get over this weird obsession with pruning, you need to know that there are fruit trees and only a few plants that actually need to be pruned and many gardeners will prune too much and not too little.

Still, properly pruning overgrown fruit tress or flowering shrubs near your home will help those plants to produce more fruit and flowers, which benefits wildlife. Doing it wisely can even help your trees and plants a way to fend of pests and diseases. Just remember, don’t prune during the fall. Waiting until it is winter means that your plants are mostly dormant and because the leaves have fallen, you can easily see what you are doing. For those early spring bloomers that only need light pruning, it is best to do so right after they have finished blooming. For the overgrown shrubs, winter pruning is much better.

Don’t Prune when it is wet

Just a general rule, don’t prune anything if it is damp outside. Don’t prune if it is wet because it will spread diseases. Damp weather actually encourages microbe growth which makes the most of the damage that pruning does. You will want to wait until the sun has been out for a while and then it dries out and kills the bacteria and mold.

Know how to Hack

Pruning can actually add more air and sunlight to filter through your shrubs and trees, which helps to keep them really healthy. Whenever it is time for you to prune, you need to focus on removing dying or dead branches. If you see a sick brank, cut between the healthy and diseases spot. It is also recommended that you prune whenever branches cross each other or rub each other, or if the branch is growing vertically. You can take off the low branches that mess with foot traffic or your lawnmowers. Cut the branch as close to the source of the plant as you can. It is best to prune back to the main stem. If you leave a stub that is sticking out, it is a place where insects and bacteria can live. You also want to cut at the same angle that your branch collar is, which is near the furrow of bark where the trunk and branch meet. If you have done it right, then a circle of healthy callus will swell up around that spot.

Know what you are hacking

There is a really long list of shrubs and trees that you can prune from winter until sap starts back up in spring. Some of them are beauty berries, Callory pears, poplar, junipers, cherries, glossy abelia, hydrangeas, crabapples, Bradford pears, spruce, sumac and plums. But, just because some trees can ooze sap whenever they are pruned in the winter, you are best to wait until summer to prune elm, dogwoods, maples, walnuts and birches.

Keep your tools clean

It doesn’t matter what type of pruning tools you are going to use; you need to make sure that you are keeping them clean. If you happen to have cut out diseased branches, you want to make sure that you have thoroughly cleaned your tools before you move onto another tree, which helps to avoiding spreading diseases. You should disinfect your tools by using one to two teaspoons of bleach to warm water. You can also use soapy hot water which will kill most germs and remember to dry your tools very well afteryou have washed them. If you are unable to trim from the ground using a pole pruner or if you need to prune around a power line, then hire a professional instead of climbing up high and doing it all on your own.

Do your homework

We offer general pruning guidelines, but if you are wanting more specific information on your shrubs and trees that are growing on your property, then ask your master gardeners who are involved with your local tree nursery.

Trees & Tree Pruning Tools

If you need to get new tools for when it’s the right time to prune your trees, or you want to add new trees to your landscape, A&P Nursery has everything you need.  From the trees to gloves and fertilizer we can cover every step of the process.  In fact we partner with a number of landscaping companies that can do the work for you in planting  a new tree, tree trimming, and even tree pruning.

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