Why Early Spring Pruning Matters

Why Early Spring Pruning Matters

Spring is a busy time for homeowners in the garden. When the weather starts warming up, the trees in the yard come to life. Now is the time to begin pruning to ensure a successful growing season. Pruning is necessary to promote optimal growth of trees and shrubs and requires great care. Early spring presents the best time for pruning, but homeowners must take care and be cautious with the task. Efficient and effective pruning maintains the shape, look, and health of your trees and shrubs. Let’s explain why early spring pruning matters and how to do it properly.

Why Early Spring Pruning Matters

Pruning Explained

Pruning is trimming the branches of trees and shrubs to keep them healthy and instill growth. Trees and shrubs go dormant in the winter and early spring brings life back to them. It’s critical to ensure they have enough space to grow and avoid crowding of branches with neighboring shrubs and trees.

While pruning in the spring is the best time of the year for the task, the earlier you do it, the better. Early spring season pruning prevents the spread of disease and stops the plants from attracting pests during the growing season.

Why Early Spring Pruning Is Important

The early spring is the prime time for pruning for several reasons. Energy reserves in shrubs and trees peak in the early springtime. This allows for fast healing to deter the invasion and infestation of pests and diseases.

Pruning helps air and sunlight reach the center of plants, promoting healthy growth and blooming in the summer. It prevents trees from dropping dead branches that might damage your property or falling on a family member while they walk around the yard.

The Benefits of Spring Pruning

Pruning is a practical way to ensure the optimal health of your trees and shrubs. It improves growth and the production of leaves and flowers. The more sunlight the tree or shrub receives, the more capable it is of efficient photosynthesis. In turn, providing the nutrients it needs for healthy growth.

Pruning Plants Improves Tree and Shrub Health

Pruning eliminates the diseased, damaged, dead, or dying branches that compromise the health of your trees and shrubs. It stimulates new growth and lowers the risk of disease and pest infestations. Pruning enhances sunlight penetration and air circulation.

Enhance Visual Aesthetics

Pruning enhances the visual aesthetics of the tree or shrub, improving its appearance. It also eliminates the fall risk of tree branches and removes visual obstructions to create an eye-pleasing look.

Safeguard Your Home and Property

If you have a tree close to a wall, your home, or power lines, pruning prevents the risk of limb drop that might damage these structures.

Can You Prune Budding Trees and Shrubs?

Typically, gardeners must complete their pruning tasks in the early spring when their trees and shrubs are in the dormancy phase. Remove only the smallest parts of the trees. Remove the suckers and water sprouts, and cut back any downward hanging or crossing branches to create a balanced look. For the best results, don’t remove more than 10% to 25% of the branches. By removing too much of the tree, you threaten the tree’s ability to create nutrition from sunlight, stunting its growth or killing it.

When Not to Prune in the Early Spring

While pruning in the early spring is the optimal time of year for cutting back most varieties, some trees and shrubs prefer pruning at different times. Successful pruning depends on the type of tree or shrub, the timing of the task, and the technique you use. Some trees and shrubs should be pruned after they bud, while others are best pruned during dormancy.

It depends on the species and the weather conditions they like. For most species, leave the budding branches alone and cut back the dead or diseased wood in the early spring. Early spring flowering trees like crabapple, flowering cherry, dogwood, and some fruit trees are examples of early spring bloomers. You should prune these trees right after bloom to ensure they do not remove next year’s flower buds.

Pruning too late in the spring can also attract diseases, like fungi, and pest infestations, like borers. The fresh wounds act like a magnet to these invaders, and they’ll set up shop in the cuts and infest the tree, slowly killing it.

Avoid pruning tree species like Elm, Oak, Honeylocust, and Sycamore in the late spring. Cutting them back when the weather is too warm attracts diseases like Dutch Elm, Oak wilt, stem cankers, and anthracnose. The cooler weather gives the tree the best chance of recovering before the warm weather arrives. Warmer weather brings diseases and pests that emerge from winter hibernation.

Tree Services of Omaha

Tree Services of Omaha, Nebraska is a full-service tree care provider that offers a wide range of arborist services including but not limited to: Tree Removal Services, Tree Trimming, Tree Pruning, Tree and Shrub Shaping, Stump Removal, Stump Grinding, Arborist Consultations, Systemic Tree Injections.

Contact us today for a free estimate!