When is the Right Time to Prune Trees?
Pruning is an important part of tree care and maintenance but like many things in life, timing is everything! While there isn’t a single right time for pruning, many deciduous trees and shrubs fare best if pruned during winter. This is because they are often dormant during this time and it’s easier to determine which parts need to be pruned. Pruning in late winter also prepares trees for spring and can encourage fast regrowth once the weather warms up.
Spring-flowering trees and shrubs are best pruned in spring, straight after they have finished flowering to help reduce the likelihood of them bleeding sap.
Why prune at all?
Trees have been around since well before pruning shears were invented, and when left to their own devices, most trees will live long lives and thrive without the need for any human intervention.
However, when trees are required to co-exist with us in an urban setting, whether in our backyards or lining our streets, it’s important to take care of them to reduce potential safety hazards and damage to homes and powerlines.
A few tips and tricks for tree pruning
There are a few dos and don’ts when it comes to pruning trees at any time of year. First and foremost, make sure you have the right tools to hand. Because pruning trees can involve getting up high and reaching into awkward places, safety is an important consideration. Depending on the size and scope of your pruning job, some of the tools that will help may include:
- A scissor lift or platform ladder to get to those branches that are just out of reach.
- Pruning tools like a pruning saw, chainsaws or shears.
- Extendable tools like a pruning pole to minimise reaching and twisting.
If you’re a homeowner with a few trees in the backyard, you will probably be fine with some basic pruning tools and a pole pruner for higher branches. For larger projects, a mobile hydraulic platform can be a good idea to make the job safer, faster and easier.
What should you prune?
When you’re pruning, you’re aiming to get rid of diseased, damaged or dead branches as well as any limbs that are rubbing together. Make sure you cut into the healthy part of the branch, well below any damage to make sure you reach it all.
If you’re looking to train a tree to grow in a certain direction, or away from a potential hazard, focus on the secondary branches (the branches not growing directly from the trunk).
You will also need to make sure you disinfect your tools between trees to avoid spreading disease.
With the right equipment and technique, you can prune your trees safely and effectively, and reduce the likelihood of falling branches. If you’re not sure what equipment to use, check with the team at your local Kennards Hire branch. We will be only too happy to point you in the right direction!