Trees can provide a lot of benefits to your Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA home such as aesthetic appeal, sentimental value, and shade. But in order to continue to reap those benefits, you know that you have to take care of your property’s trees.
One of the vital aspects of tree care is tree pruning, often referred to by homeowners as “tree trimming.” While pruning is the correct terminology in the world of arboricultural, you’ll notice that we use “trimming” interchangeably since that’s how most homeowners know the service.
Of course, knowing the best time to trim trees is important, so that you can get the most out of this service.
When is the Best Time to Trim Trees?
In talking to homeowners, we find that a lot of people automatically assume that pruning must be completed in spring. In fact, a lot of folks ask, is it ok to trim trees in the fall? Or, they might ask, is it ok to trim trees in the winter?
People don’t want to trim at a time of year when it could potentially harm their trees.
But the answer to those questions is a definite yes. It is ok to trim trees in the fall or winter. In fact, it may be advised.
Surprising to many, for most trees, the best time to trim trees is in the fall and winter when trees enter a dormant stage and their growth halts. The lack of tree activity along with less harsh temperatures can create ideal pruning conditions.
In fact, in certain species, if you prune after new growth has begun in the spring, you can actually limit the trees’ blooming ability. And while it can certainly be done, sometimes pruning in summer can expose the tree to harsh conditions. For instance, if you remove some of the tree’s crown and leaves that aren’t used to being exposed to the sun are now exposed, you can experience some leaf burn.
It’s also important to mention that trees are often already under extra stress in the summer as a result of drought and possibly increased pest activity. This can make some trees more fragile so extra care and attention should be given while pruning.
Factoring Expectations into the Equation
Of course, there are different types of pruning, performed for different reasons. Let’s look at the common forms of pruning techniques and what they entail.
- Crown Cleaning: The goal is to identify and remove the dead, dying, and diseased wood. By doing this, you’re aiming to prevent future problems such as the advancement of decay.
- Crown Thinning: Similar to crown cleaning, thinning also aims to identify and remove dead, dying, and diseased wood. But on top of that, this method will also begin to remove some live limbs with the goal of reducing the overall weight of the tree.
- Crown Raising: When crown raising is the goal, the objective is to remove lower limbs of the tree and raise the crown. This is performed for very specific purposes, such as limbs that hang over a sidewalk.
- Crown Reduction: You might think of crown reduction as a combination of the cleaning and thinning services. But whereas those two services do not change the overall size and shape of the tree, the ultimate goal of reduction is reducing the overall height and spread of a tree.
We mention these different types of pruning because your specific objectives are going to impact the best time to trim trees. If your goal is merely just to remove the dead and decaying wood, this can honestly be performed any time of the year.
Dead and decaying wood is not productive tissue. It’s likely already harboring insects and/or disease, so it’s good to get that wood removed ASAP.
But sometimes, homeowners’ goals include pruning to push new growth. For instance, perhaps you have some trees that you’re using to create some privacy and you’re anxious for them to fill out the space. We could prune in the early spring right before the trees push new growth and they will grow more robust.
Or, maybe your objective is to protect your trees from potential snow or ice damage. We might be headed toward the winter and you’re concerned about snow and ice build-up or high winds. If we perform some thinning and selectively remove limbs to reduce weight, we can increase the sunlight that gets into the tree’s crown and ensure that wind moves through the tree, doesn’t just hit it like a brick wall. This can offer some protection headed into the winter weather.
So, you can see how your goals and expectations also factor into the equation.
Choosing a Tree Pruning Service in Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA
As you think about choosing a tree pruning service, it’s important to find someone who will not only consider the specific species and its needs, but also your personal goals and expectations. That will help them to determine the best time to trim trees on your property.
As you look for a tree pruning service, one of the most important factors to look at is their training. You want to make sure that whomever is performing this work knows exactly what to look for on your tree in order to make smart cuts.
One of the important rules of thumb to follow is not removing more than 25 percent of live growth at any one time. You want to make sure that your tree trimming professional is adhering to that guideline.
At Joshua Tree, we have 11 ISA Certified Arborists, and even more taking the test. This is important because a Certified Arborist is trained to be able to identify and diagnose problems. That will ensure that the right steps are taken in order to ensure the health of your tree.
Ultimately, promoting your trees’ optimal health is what it all comes down to. When regular pruning is performed and it’s done properly, you can continue to reap all of those benefits that your trees can provide. For that reason, you might think of it as a protection in your investment.
With the right Lehigh Valley tree service, you can gain peace of mind that your trees will remain in good health for many years to come.
Are you ready to work with a knowledgeable and skilled tree care company in Allentown, Bethlehem, or Easton, PA? Get in touch with us to get some free expert advice and get a quote for tree pruning services. By choosing wisely you’ll have peace of mind your trees are in good hands.