Pruning Trees: When is the Best Time of the Year to Prune?


By Duane Parmelee ISA Certified Arborist
Trees require pruning and trimming to maintain their beauty, health, and safety. 

Good, Better, or Best Time?

There is no perfect time nor worse time to prune trees, only good, better, and best. The best time to prune is the colder, shorter days – mid-October to mid-February. In an emergency, as soon as possible is the best time.

Why Prune During the Colder Season?

A tree grows rapidly during the warm months and grows slowly in the cooler months. The tree expends a lot of energy to grow, especially in the first warm months of the year. If you prune after the rapid growth begins, all the energy spent to grow removed limbs is lost – thrown into the trash. 
Whereas, pruning in the slower months, the tree will spend its energy on the existing canopy in warmer times. This is desirable especially if you are pruning for appearance. 

Pruning During the Warmer Season

There is no fatal error in pruning any time of the year. This is especially true for the safety and health of the tree. If a tree is hazardous – broken limbs, interfering with power lines or structures, etc. – the sooner the better regardless of the time of the year. 

Asked and Answered

If you have the option, the best time to prune is the cooler season. In an emergency, sooner is the best time.

Duane Parmelee, owner of Parmelee Tree Care
Parmelee, ISA Certified Arborist
Parmelee Tree Care

Duane Parmelee is the owner/operator of Parmelee Tree Care, a Tampa Bay tree care service with a 5-star rating. Duane Parmelee has worked in the tree care industry since he was a teenager in the 1980s. 
Since 2014, he has maintained his ISA-certified arborist credentials. With many hours of classroom instruction, practical training, and hands-on experience, Duane’s knowledge of trees runs deep and wide.
Although the bulk of Duane’s work is pruning and trimming trees, palms, and even shrubs, Duane has planned, supervised, and completed multiple complex crane-assisted removals of trees over 60’ tall in limited access areas. He understands the “whole picture” dynamics of what is required to coordinate heavy equipment and workers to keep people and property safe.
He is qualified to assess trees to determine hazards and develop a mitigation plan. Duane is  Tree Risk Assessment Qualified (TRAQ) by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Learn More at our website:  Parmelee Tree Care – Tree Care in Tampa Bay

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