When to Trim Trees & Shrubs?


Pruning is an essential part of keeping your landscape plants. While most trees and shrubs can be pruned at almost any time without significantly harming the plants, most trees and shrubs will benefit more from pruning at specific times.

Flowering Trees & Shrubs

  • When you prune flowering trees and shrubs depends on their season of bloom. Plants that flower early, usually before the end of June, should be pruned immediately after flowering. These include hawthorne, lilac and magnolia. Trees and shrubs that flower after the end of June, like beauty berry and butterfly bush, should be pruned in late winter or early spring.

Fruiting Trees & Shrubs

  • Fruiting trees can be pruned to maximize fruit production. Prune fruit trees in fall, after the fruit has either been harvested or eaten by wildlife. Do not prune fruit trees before fruit has had a chance to develop, even if they flower early in the season.

Evergreen Trees & Shrubs

  • Coniferous evergreens -- those with needles -- can be pruned in early spring while new branches are growing. Only prune new, living branches, not the older hard wood. Broad-leaved evergreens can be pruned any time of year as long as the wood is not frozen.

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