When to Prune Trees
Most species of tree have a certain season that is optimal for pruning. This differs from species to species.
Pruning is best when done during the tree’s dormant season, or right before spring. This does not include deadwood pruning which can be done at any time.
1. When pruning, all wounds = some damage to the tree. The quicker the wounds close off, the better the tree can protect itself.
Proper pruning cuts and time of year pruned contribute to how fast a wound hardens and closes off.
2. Reducing the likelihood for active entrance (of fungus, insects, etc.) to wounds is greater during dormancy. For example, following insect life cycles, the vector of pathogens (insects) aren’t as active during colder seasons.
3. Trees are just like any other model of economics or fiscal responsibility. No one wants to end up in the red.
Trees use a lot of energy producing leaves. If you cut off these leaves during pruning, you’re depleting the tree of any nutrients it would have received through photosynthesis. This puts the tree into an energy deficit for the season. Having a deficit stresses the tree, and is compounded when combined with other issues such as drought or too compact a soil.