Fall is a great time to trim your trees. Temperatures are cool which means the trees are not stressed from the summer heat and will handle pruning well. This is a great time of year to make your trees look pretty!
Why is Fall the Best Time to Prune?
Trimming trees at the right time is crucial to keeping them healthy. During the fall, the tree’s internal systems begin to slow, as it prepares to go dormant (similar to hibernation in animals). Entering a dormant state helps the tree survive the winter cold, frost, and ice.
During this period of dormancy, trees are able to heal the wounds made from pruning before the stressors of spring, like disease and insects, arrive.
Proper trimming is not just a matter of timing, however, but also of technique. Trimming your trees at the proper time in the fall or winter cannot compensate for the damage done through over-trimming, lion-tailing, or topping. Even though a dormant tree can better withstand these damaging types of trimming, the overall health of the tree may be irreparably harmed.
Is there a best time to trim particular species of tree?
• The best time to trim oak trees in Texas is in the fall and winter.
• It is critical to avoid trimming during oak wilt season (February-July) if at all possible.
• Live oaks typically do a leaf exchange in late winter so it is better to trim them in late fall or early winter.
• Dead and broken branches can be removed at any time.
• The best time to trim maples is fall and winter.
• Pruning in the early spring can lead to sap leaking from the pruning cuts.
• Maple trees are one of the few trees that have fall color in Texas so pruning after the leaf drop is usually preferred.
• Elms are hardy and native to Texas. They are typically the first to get their leaves and the first to lose their leaves.
• Trimming elms in the fall and in the winter is best to avoid sap leaking.
• Elms are prone to rotting where large pruning cuts are made or poor puts are made so conservative trimming is best.
• In the parts of North America where Dutch elm disease is present, elms should be trimmed before March.
• Crepe Myrtles produce flowers on each year’s new growth.
• Trimming in the fall leads to more blossoms in the spring.
• Trimming in the late spring will reduce the number of flowers the following year.
• For the health of the crape myrtle, the best time to trim is winter.
• Topping crape myrtles is never a good practice.
• Bradford pears can be safely trimmed at any time.
• Proper structural pruning when needed is very important for Bradford pears because their natural growth patterns often lead to weakness at branch joints.
• Structural pruning for fruit trees should be done in the winter.
• Trimming for fruit production should be done just after bloom in early spring.
No matter what variety of tree you have at your home of commercial property, Fall offers the best temperatures and overall conditions for pruning. Our certified arborists are available to you for a proposal for tree trimming or pruning. Schedule a visit to review all the trees on your property and develop of plan for the health of your trees in the Fall and years to come. Proper tree care makes all the difference in the aesthetic of the valuable parts of your landscape.