Why Prune?

Pruning your young tree is important to ensure it grows strong and healthy.  Pruning as it grows allows you to influence it’s shape and form so that it is aesthetically pleasing and fits well into the space it’s growing in.

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When are good times to prune?

Anytime you see a dead or broken branch, go ahead and prune that piece. Those broken pieces sap strength and energy from the tree overall and once you remove it, the tree will be able to send it’s resources to the healthy parts of itself.

The timing really depends on what effect you are trying to get out of pruning your tree.  The time to start pruning most trees is while that tree is dormant.  Typically, this means during the winter season, after the coldest part of the season has passed but, before the spring starts.  Pruning during it’s dormant stage allows vigorous growth in the spring.

Summer may be ideal for some people to prune the trees because it allows you to see where the leaves may be heavier on some branches and you’re able to see where to better balance the tree.  Also, pruning in summer allows you to slow the growth of a certain branch or area you do not want it to grow.  When you prune a certain area, you reduce the amount of leaves in the tree.  Because the leaves make the food for the tree, pruning reduces the amount of food going to the roots thus slowing the overall growth process.

If you have a spring flowering tree and want MORE flowers, then, you should prune the tree after the flowers have bloomed and started to fade.  Or, if you have a tree that’s a summer shower, prune in winter/early spring.

The worst time to prune is the fall. Just avoid that.  When you prune a tree, you’re “wounding” it and allowing an avenue of approach for disease.  In the fall, decay fungi spread their pores thus becoming more risky towards infecting a wounded tree.

Seal the wound?

Some types of trees may “Bleed” sap, such as maple trees, but, not to worry, if you’ve cut during winter the threat of disease and bugs is not high.  There are ways you can “Seal” the cuts however, they aren’t proven methods and some studies even say it further harms the healing process for your tree.   Make sure to look up your specific type of tree for diseases in your area if you are concerned about this and believe using a sealant is needed.  Overall, I would avoid using a sealant on the tree.

Methods on how to prune will come out in a future blog.  There are some key points to how to prune your tree so ensure you research that before hacking away!  Stay tuned for more and thanks for reading!