What Every Homeowner Needs To Know About Summer Tree Trimming

As a homeowner, it's important to know how to properly care for the trees growing on your property. When trees aren't well maintained they become a safety hazard and are susceptible to a whole host of tree diseases. Once trees are too dangerous or sick to remain in place, then it is expensive to have them professionally removed.

To proactively care for the trees on your property this summer, here's what you need to know about summer tree trimming.

It's Best to Prune Most Types of Trees in the Late Fall or Early Winter

Major tree trimming of most species of trees should only be done in the late fall or early winter season when the trees are in their dormant state without leaves. However, the one exception to this rule is spring-flowering trees, such as lilac, flowering cherry, and magnolia. Trim these tree varieties just after their flowers drop in the early summer.

Winter tree trimming is advised because the temperatures are lower and there are fewer insects around to infest the areas where the tree is injured from your cuts. If you can safely wait to prune, then it's best to wait until spring unless its a flowering tree.

However, if you must prune in the summer, then it's vital you tar the wound to prevent problems with disease or insects and to protect against excessive sap loss. If you don't apply tar, then insects will be attracted to the sap and can eat their way into the heart of the tree.

Sometimes It's Necessary to Prune Trees in the Spring or Summer

Minor summer tree trimming is sometimes necessary to deal with safety problems or trees damaged from wind storms. Appropriate times to prune during the summer are when you see:

  • dead branches
  • diseased branches
  • broken branches
  • crossed branches
  • branches rubbing together

In addition, you should remove sucker trees that sprout up as soon as you see them growing. Removing branches and suckers helps trees to redirect the tree's energy resources towards the healthier parts of the tree.

Summer Tree Trimming Retards Subsequent Year Tree Growth

When you prune trees in the summer, you remove leaves that are creating the food the tree will use to grow in the spring. If your goal is to intentionally retard the tree's growth for next year, then summer pruning can accomplish it. However, it's vital you never remove more than a quarter of the tree, make sanitary cuts with sanitized tools, and always seal tree wounds with tar.

For more information, reach out to local tree trimming services.