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What is the best time of year to trim a tree?

Oct 25


Tree trimming is a good idea to keep your trees looking great. But What is the best time of year to trim a tree? This will depend on the type of tree you have and what your motivation is to trim it.


Trees, like many other plants, go through a cycle of dormancy and growth each year. Tree trimming can be done at any time, even during the tree's dormant season. Tree trimming should only be done at certain times of year for some species to thrive. However, it is important to gather your Tree Trimming Tools to solve your tree problem.


Many people believe that the best time to prune and trim trees is when the bright leaves are falling. This assumption could cause damage to your trees. Arborists agree that the best time for pruning trees is in winter after they have gone dormant.

Winter Tree Trimming

The winter months are the best time to trim or prune trees and shrubs. Between November and March, most trees go dormant. This makes winter the best time to prune or trim them.

  • Trees are less prone to disease or insects.
  • The impact on the landscape is reduced and the crew can see clearly what they are doing even when all the leaves have gone.
  • Trees can heal quicker, which means that your tree will be healthy and happy by spring.

Trimming trees in the spring and summer

For most tree species tree trimming can be done in spring. Despite the sap rising in the tree, it is possible to identify problematic branches early in spring before the tree has fully matured.


Spring tree trimming is a great way to identify dead branches and makes them easy to remove. Because they won't flower or bear leaves, the bare bark of those branches will be much more obvious than in their dormant stage. This time frame can also help you identify trees that cannot save, and in this case, you may schedule tree trimming services.


Tree species that flower in the middle to late summer should be pruned in the early spring to ensure more buds on their remaining branches. Read more about, Tree Trimming Cost


Prune after blooming

Prune trees and shrubs that have bloomed early in the year based on last year's growth immediately after they stop blooming.

Prune before you plant new plants

Shrubs have grown primarily for their leaves, and not their showy flowers, which need to be pruned in the spring.


Hedges, shrubs

Hedges should be pruned frequently after initial pruning occurs at planting. Hedges should usually be pruned twice per year: once in spring and once again in the middle of summer.



The pruning of evergreens (conifers), is very minimal. Different evergreen types should be pruned according to their different growth habits.

When not to prune


The worst time to prune trees is generally late summer or early autumn. This is a bad time to prune because it encourages new growth which can lead to the tree not entering its natural dormancy. Your tree will not heal quickly enough for the cold season. This could cause disease and decay.