When Do You Prune Trees? 5 Things You Should Know About Trimming to Keep Your Trees Healthy

Chris Yu
Chris Yu

Chris Yu has been helping home and business owners with tree services for over 12+ years and is dedicated to providing relevant, proper tree information for everyone.

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Trees are a lovely addition to any yard if you take care of them properly. They must be planted with care, given water, and you need to prune them on a normal basis. That last one is important not only for the tree’s health but for your home’s safety as well.

If you don’t get rid of dead branches they could fall on your house and do some serious damage to it. So, when do you prune trees? We’re about to tell you.

Keep reading for a complete guide to how and when you should be pruning your trees in Augusta, GA.

1. Why is Trimming Your Trees so Important? 

You’ll need to trim your trees every other year or so. This number can increase or decrease depending on several factors such as safety, the health of your trees, and aesthetics.  


If a tree’s branches have grown so much that they’re a hazard you’ll need to get them trimmed. If you don’t then they could fall on your house when a bad storm brushes through. 

You should also trim them down a little if they are obstructing the road or powerlines. If your tree limbs are dipping into the powerlines don’t try to solve the problem yourself. It will be safer to have an arborist do it. 

Tree Health

If you let dead and dying branches stay a part of your tree it will affect its overall health. If you’ve got a bunch of branches rubbing together it will be best to thin them out a little. This will allow your tree to grow the correct way and give it better access to air and sunlight. 

It Looks Better 

Again, pruning gives your tree better access to much-needed air and sunlight. This won’t only decrease its chance for disease but will promote more budding and flowering as well. 

It can also prune your trees into a shape or form that will fit a specific aesthetic you’re going for. 

2. When Do You Prune Trees? 

The general rule of thumb is to have your trees pruned every 3-5 years or so. More mature trees can last up to 5 without needing it done and younger ones should have it done around every 2-3. 

The timing also depends on the type of trees that are planted in your yard. If you’re unsure when a particular species of tree needs pruning, an arborist will be able to tell you. 

3. Best Time of Year to Do Your Pruning 

If you notice dead and dying branches then yes, you should get your trees pruned. Other times though, you should consider the time of year before you do it.

Most trees thrive better if they’re pruned in the late winter or early spring. It all depends if your tree is an early bloomer or a late bloomer. 

Early Bloomers 

If you trim an early-blooming tree during the winter, they won’t thrive or bloom at all really. Wait to trim these trees until after it’s done all the blooming that it’s going to do. Early bloomer trees include chokecherry, flowering plum, magnolia, ornamental cherry, and apricot. 

Late Bloomers

If you have a tree that tends to bloom in the late spring or early summer then these are late bloomers. It’s best to prune them in the late winter or early spring at the latest. A few late bloomers include American smoke tree, dogwood, hawthorn, Japanese tree lilac, and catalpa.  

4. How to Do It Safely 

Next, there is the matter of safety. If it’s a smaller, younger tree that needs pruning that will be a safe enough job for you to tackle on your own. If the tree is so tall that you would need a ladder to reach the branches then it would be safer to call an arborist. 

Safety also depends on the size of the branches. If they’re only two inches in diameter then you can do it. If they are larger than four inches in diameter then it’s no longer safe for you to handle the job.  

5. Proper Pruning Procedure and Methods 

You want to trim your tree branches but you don’t want to get rid of too much. If you do then it will damage the overall health of the tree. Be sure that you don’t remove more than a fourth of the tree’s growth at a time. 

There are different pruning techniques that you can use depending on if you want to thin out the tree a little or remove limbs to clear obstructions. 

Crown Thinning 

Crown thinning is when you remove branches with the goal of thinning out the density of the tree a little. This is a common method to use if you want to allow your tree to get more air and sunlight and reduce the amount of stress on the branches in cases of heavy snow. 

Crown Raising 

You will use the crown raising method if you want to get rid of low hanging branches that are obstructing traffic. Perform this technique gradually. If you remove too many lower branches at once could weaken your tree.  

Crown Cleaning 

Crown cleaning is the technique to use to get rid of any dead or dying branches. You can do this at any time but it’s best when partnered with the crown raising and thinning methods. 

Trim Your Trees on a Normal Basis to Keep Them Healthy 

Trees can be a beautiful addition to any yard given that you perform the needed care steps. Trimming away dead branches is an important part of these steps. Know the answer to when do you prune trees in Agusta, GA to keep your trees happy and healthy. 

Don’t feel comfortable pruning your own trees? That’s understandable. Contact us for all your pressing tree needs. 

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