crew pruning tree

When is the Best Time of Year to Prune Trees in New England?

Trees are treasures and we want to do everything that we can to protect them. For that reason, keeping up with services like tree pruning is really important.

Of course, it’s just as important that pruning is performed properly, as a bad prune job can do more harm than good.

If you’re considering pruning, you might be wondering about the best time to prune a tree so that you can get the most out of this service

When to Prune Trees in New England?

We find that a lot of people think that spring is the time for pruning. This is generally just because springtime is when people start to think about their landscapes again after being indoors a lot. 

tree care expert pruning tree with chainsaw

But the best time to prune trees in New England is actually in the winter. 

That is not to say that you cannot prune during other months. Many tree species can be pruned at any time of the year. But winter has some particular benefits that we’ll discuss in the next section.

Why is Winter the Best Time to Prune a Tree?

There are a few reasons that make winter an optimal time for pruning. 

For one, trees enter a dormant stage during the winter, where their growth halts. This lack of activity coupled with the fact that trees aren’t dealing with heat and drought, create ideal pruning conditions. 

People don’t always realize that even though pruning is highly beneficial, it does put some stress on the tree. But we can aim to minimize that as much as possible. 

Summer can already be a stressful time for the tree because of heat and drought, and summer pruning can add to that. If you remove some of the tree’s crown and the leaves below aren’t used to receiving so much sunlight, your tree may get leaf burn.

Summer is also a common time for pest and disease activity and your tree could potentially already be struggling with a problem. Pruning is going to add more stress and provide a potential entryway for these issues to spread.

But in the winter, common tree pests and diseases are not active. 

Another reason winter is the best time to prune a tree is that the lack of leaves on deciduous trees will expose the branches in a way that makes it easier to see problems, such as storm damage. 

It’s beneficial to get any weak branches removed ahead of coming snowfall or ice.

Pruning in the winter also will not disturb growth patterns. Sometimes when pruning a flowering shrub in the spring, you can prevent it from blooming.

Your Goals and Expectations Matter, Too

While there are some good reasons why winter is the best time to prune a tree, it’s important to know that your goals and expectations also factor into the decision. 

If your primary goal is to remove dead and decaying wood, this can be performed at any time of the year. It is always beneficial to do this.

tree care crew climber pruning trees

But other pruning objectives like crown thinning (which also helps reduce some of the weight of the tree), crown raising, or crown reduction can mean more cuts are being made and you do want to make sure that you aren’t putting too much stress on the tree.

Choosing Tree Pruning in Southern NH, ME, and MA

At the end of the day, these decisions can be made with the help of a Certified Arborist who will know what’s best for your trees. Knowing how often and when to prune trees are important factors to the success of the service.

A service like pruning can help protect your investment in your New England trees if it’s done right. 

At Seacoast Tree Care, we’re committed to preserving the health and beauty of trees by performing vital services like tree pruning, the right way. When you make a wise choice in tree pruning services, you’ll ultimately take an important step in protecting the value of your property’s trees.

Ready for safer and healthier trees at your Southern NH, ME, or MA home? Request your consultation and get a free quote for tree pruning services. We service properties in and around Stratham, NH, Kittery, ME, and Haverhill, MA. By making a wise choice, you’ll know your trees are in good hands.

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