When is the best time for pruning trees in Texas? The answer may surprise you — there is no one “best” time! The truth is that different tree species will respond better to pruning at different times of the year.
As Magnolia’s top-rated tree service company, we can provide some tips to help you determine the best moment to prune your trees.
Why Fall and Winter is Often the Way to Go
Most trees enter a dormant state during the fall and winter months. In other words, they’re not actively growing, so pruning will not encourage new growth.
Trimming them during this time can be helpful because it lets you see the tree’s structure more clearly. With the leaves gone, it’s easier to identify which branches are crossing, rubbing, or growing in an undesirable direction.
Another advantage of pruning in late winter is that it can help prevent the spread of disease. Since trees are dormant, they are less likely to experience stress from pruning cuts.
Different Trees Have Different Timing Needs
As we mentioned, the best time for pruning trees can vary widely depending on the species. Trimming during the colder months should only serve as a general guide. Let’s look at other popular Texas trees and the ideal moment to prune them.
Avoid pruning your oak trees between February and July. This is the time of year when oak wilt — a devastating disease — becomes most active. We recommend pruning oaks in late winter or early spring before new growth begins, but you can remove dead branches at any time of year.
If you have a maple tree, you should trim it in the fall and winter months. Pruning them during early spring can cause the tree to “bleed” — where sap flows from the cut branches. While this does not harm the tree, it can be unsightly.
Elms are native to the state and generally very hardy. Fall and winter are the best times to prune these trees to avoid sap leakage.
Keep in mind that conservative trimming is always best for elms. Significant pruning cuts make them more susceptible to Dutch elm disease and other fungal infections.
The tree branches of a Bradford Pear can be weak and prone to breakage, so you need to be strategic with your cuts to strengthen the tree’s form. You can prune them during any season, but it is ideal to do it during the colder months.
Crepe myrtles are one of the few trees that you can prune at any time of the year. Trimming them during fall encourages more future blossoms, while pruning in late winter improves the tree’s health.
We also advise never to “top” a crepe myrtle. This involves cutting off the tree’s main stem to reduce its height. Not only is this bad for the tree’s health, but it also results in an unsightly growth pattern.
If you’re looking to improve the structure of your fruit trees, prune them in late winter. Do it in early spring for better fruit production, just after they bloom. Some fruit trees, such as figs, should not be pruned at all.
Hiring a Certified Arborist to Prune Your Trees
As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question, “when is the best time for pruning trees in Texas?”. If you want to ensure that your trees are healthy and looking their best, it’s always a good idea to consult with a certified arborist.
Our experts at Nature’s Tree Removal have the knowledge and experience to care for and trim trees of all types. We can also assist with the land clearing process if you need more room for new construction. Consult with us today and make the most of your outdoor space!