Pruning Trees

Is early Spring the right time to prune branches from a tree…before the new leaves appear? Or, should I ask…is there a wrong time to prune? Also, if one prunes the lower branches, will the tree grow to be fuller at the top?

The best time to prune a plant depends on the type of plant. Some general rules:

  1. Pruning when dormant is usually best.
  2. Prune seasonally flowering trees/shrubs after they finish blooming.

However, there are so many exceptions you should look up what’s best for your particular tree.

I realize this specific example is probably totally irrelevant to your concerns, but it leads me to wonder if parasites might be a concern if you prune your tree at the wrong time - it is now illegal in Edmonton to prune elm trees between April 1 and September 30 because of Dutch Elm Disease; the bugs are attracted to freshly cut trees. Your trees probably aren’t elms so DED isn’t a concern, but other parasites might be; not likely to be many little critters around in the winter.

Another wrong way to prune is the drastic cutbacks and “topping” that some tree butchers sell. It’s bad for root health, and it weakens the overall vitality of the tree. It gives an opportunity to insects and disease that a healthy tree would shrug off.

That’s not really what you asked, is it? Sorry.