Tree Trimming & Removal In Winter, Fall, Summer, And Spring

In this article, I’ll be discussing tree trimming and removal in winter, fall, summer, and spring.

For your tree to maintain a healthy and beautiful look, you would have to trim it regularly. If the case is that your tree is dead or decayed, then removing it may be the only choice you would have.

However, tree trimming and removal has to be done at the right time.

Pruning during the wrong season could lead to your tree failing in health or even death.


Trees are known to function around a cycle of growth and dormancy every year. Mainly, tree trimming is carried out during the winter season or early spring, although some species are best pruned in the summer.

Tree trimming is done for different reasons, so you should plan your trip around the unique problem you’re trying to fix in the tree.

Winter Tree Trimming

During the winter season, trees are dormant. This means they are not in active growth.

The winter is the most popular season for tree caregivers to carry out trimming. Since the tree is in its dormant stage, it won’t be severely affected by trimming, and it can also heal faster from it.

Another reason why trimming in the winter is ideal is this – Most tree species shed their leaves at this time. This will allow the person trimming to have a better view of the branches that need to be cut back or cut off. Most of which are dead or crossed branches that could’ve been hidden by the leaves.

New spring growth will also be promoted when trees are trimmed during the winter. However, be advised to trim after the coldest part of winter has passed. Cold snaps could be the result of trimming a tree at freezing temperatures.

Pretty much all trees are tolerant of winter pruning.

If you are pruning for the sake of improving fruit production, then prune only when the tree is dormant (winter).

During the autumn season, a deciduous tree’s leaves will fall off and be reborn when the warmer spring arrives.

Pruning in the winter has many benefits, some of which I will list out below.

Benefits Of Pruning In The Winter

The tree structure is more visible: For you to properly prune a tree, you need to make the right cuts at the right of any of the intended branches. For you to make such flawless cuts, you should be able to see the tree structure.

This is one of the major advantages of pruning in the winter, as the tree’s leaves have fallen off and most of the branches will be exposed.

There is a limit to disease spread: Most tree diseases are caused by insects, parasites, and bacteria. These diseases and pests are very active during the warmer seasons but are significantly inactive during the winter.

Due to this, there is almost a zero chance of disease spread of trees are trimmed in the winter.

Remember, pruning involves opening cuts on the tree, and parasites and pests will maul these wounds if they had the chance. Winter doesn’t give them that chance.

Pruning in winter increases efficiency: Areas like Dayton can get cold to the point where the ground will freeze. This means heavy equipment can be rolled in without causing damage to your landscape.

When workers aren’t worried about messing up the ground, they can concentrate on the primary task of trimming your tree, hence they will work more efficiently.

Causes less stress on the tree: When a tree is pruned, it’s natural response would be to have new growth and cover up the wound. Pruning the winter will not cause new growth until the spring season arrives.

During this season, the tree has better access to sunlight, moisture, and nutrients, which are vital to stimulating new growth.

As I have also mentioned before, pruning when a tree is dormant will not cause harm to the tree. It will have time to recover throughout the season before it starts regrowth in the warmer seasons.

Tree safety is improved during winter: The safety of yourself and the people around is a responsibility everyone should carry. A tree with dead, decayed, or hanging branches is one thing that can cause damage or serious injuries if care is not taken.

During the winter, it is common to have heavy winds or snow which could knock off such hazardous branches. This is why winter pruning is great, as doing so will remove the threat of flying or falling branches.

Trimming Trees in the Spring and Summer

Trimming during the spring season can produce wonderful results for many species. The sap will indeed be free-flowing during this time, but it is still a good time to identify hazardous branches before the tree has lost most of its leaves.

Problematic branches will not produce flowers during the spring, so you can easily spot those with bare backs and cut them off. You can also determine if the tree is beyond saving at this point and can schedule tree removal accordingly.

As for trees that produce a flower in the summer (mid to late), trimming early in the spring is recommended if you’re hoping for more bud production on the other branches.

As delicate and difficult as it may be, pruning in the summer is still very possible.

Part of that difficulty lies in the number of leaves covering the tree at that time. The more leaves there are on the branches, the more difficult it would be to identify the branches that need to be pruned out.

Nonetheless, if you want to find out which branches are the weakest on a tree, then summer is the best time to do so. A healthy branch will stand firm even when pressured by the weight of the leaves, but a weak branch will not be able to handle the weight of the leaves.

As for spring-flowering trees, the best time to prune them is in the summer. This is because after the trimming has been completed, the branches will produce more flowering buds. That is if they are trimmed just after the spring flowers have faded.

Tree species that enjoy the benefits of summer pruning include the following –

  • Maples
  • Birches
  • Dogwoods
  • Walnuts
  • Elms

The above-mentioned trees have a low flow of sap during the summer, so if you are looking to avoid dealing with messy sap, then trimming in the summer is your best bet.

If you aren’t a fan of the flowers at this point, then you can buy tree injections containing deflowering agents. This will stop the tree from growing fruits.

Benefits Of Pruning In The Summer

Pruning in the summer is not as practiced as pruning in the winter, yet it has many advantages.

Some of them are listed below.

Pruning in the summer prevents disease: Silverleaf disease can be contacted by trees belonging to the cherry family, and they are prone to this disease during the winter season.

Pruning in the summer is a great way to avoid the risk of your tree contacting the disease.

Decayed branches as we know, can spread diseases to other healthy branches. Such branches carry active pests which can cause all sorts of damage. Cutting off such branches will ensure the other healthy branches are not affected.

Summer pruning is also ideal for dealing with crossed and competing branches.

Pruning in the summer prevents old fruited wood: Fruits like Blackcurrants usually experience low productivity of fruit bushes after a few years. This will be a perfect time to cut back the thickest and oldest of the stems right at the base.

You can leave some of the younger ones behind.

Tree Trimming in Fall

Professionals and experts suggest that fall is by far the worst time to trim a tree.

Trees that are pruned in the fall find it hard to recover from the pruning wounds. At this period, the tree is just about to go into dormancy and is at a higher risk of diseases.

Trimming in the fall cannot be avoided all the time, especially when the tree has hazardous branches hanging over it.

Removing Trees In The Winter: Is It Cheaper?

Tree removal might become necessary if it has become a hazard or threat to life and property.

So, what season is best for tree removal to save cost? Speaking from a money point of view, you would spend less if you want to remove your tree in the winter.

The main reason for this is that demand for arborist work is very low during the winter seasons. With such a scarcity of work, tree fellers will take what they can get for tree removal.

Why the drop in demand?

The drop in demand is caused by the winter cold itself. During this time, people are less concerned about the gardens, rather, they are more interested in the fireplace or any other cozy indoor section.

They would only think about their tree if it has a serious problem that could kill it or damage property.

The case is not the same with warmer areas, as garden work goes on all through the season.


Trees can be pruned in most seasons, preferably the winter when they are dormant. Although the summer is also an ideal pruning season.

I trust this article on tree trimming and removal in the winter, summer, spring, and fall has been helpful.

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