As Autumn begins to sprinkle it’s seeds into the heat of Summer, we all feel the sense of childhood joy that comes from seeing the pavements covered with brown leaves… as well as the dread of having to clean it all up. Oftentimes, the frustration that accompanies getting out the rake and leaf blower leave many of us pruning before Autumn, which can wreak havoc on our yards. So it makes you wonder, is Autumn the best time to prune your trees?
No matter how badly you might want to save yourself the clean up, keep the saws and cutters in the shed (at least for a couple of months). In Autumn, trees and shrubs are trying to slow their growth as Winter approaches with the cold weather. However, by pruning them, you are stimulating their growth, which goes against their natural cycle. This can seriously weaken the trees. Furthermore, the common temperature drops during the night can lead to sap freezing over, causing further damage to the trees. The only exception to this rule is fruit trees, which need to be correctly pruned in order to keep the tree and fruits healthy and plentiful.
Of course, once the leaves have fallen and winter has taken full effect, the tree’s cycle comes around to growth again, just in time for Spring. This is the best time to start tree pruning because, similarly to a haircut, you are removing old or dead branches, and letting the healthy parts of the tree grow and flourish.
So when you feel the Autumn breeze begin to penetrate the Summer heat, put down the chainsaw and shears and let the trees run their cycle. They will be much healthier for it.