Tree Pruning for Different Seasons: When & How to Prune Your Trees Throughout the Year?

Tree Pruning for Different Seasons: When & How to Prune Your Trees Throughout the Year?

If your garden is abundant with trees, you’ll know that they require a little TLC, in the form of tree pruning services, to flourish and thrive. However, pruning is not a one-size-fits-all task, and how you tackle it varies depending on the season and the type of tree you’re dealing with. Licensed, accredited, and incredibly experienced, the team here at Melbourne Tree Specialists know our way up a tree and are the local experts in pruning. In this guide, we’ll tell you our tips and tricks while taking you through the year-round journey of tree pruning, from winter to autumn — and even those tricky, special cases.

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Winter Pruning: How to Prune Dormant Trees & Stimulate Spring Growth?

Winter pruning might seem counterintuitive, but it’s an excellent time of year to give your dormant trees some attention. When your trees have shed their leaves, it’s easier to see the branches’ structure and spot areas that need trimming. Here’s how to do it:

Remove Dead or Diseased Branches

Start by cutting away dead or diseased branches. This helps prevent the spread of diseases to the healthy areas of your tree and promotes overall tree health. Not sure if your branch is dead? Scape away a bit of the bark and see if the underneath is healthy, soft and green, or hard, brown and dead. Leaves with spots or branches that are discoloured are likely diseased.

Thinning & Shaping

Thin out crowded areas and shape the tree to encourage sunlight and air circulation, which is essential for healthy growth in the coming spring. You only want to remove 10% to 20% of your branches during this step to avoid stressing out the tree. Shaping is best done on mature trees, while younger trees should be left alone at the crown.

Promote Spring Growth

Make strategic cuts now to stimulate new growth in the spring. Trim back the tips of branches to encourage lateral bud development — this is known as a heading cut. Make sure to sprinkle some slow-release fertiliser at this time to make sure your trees are ready to grow come springtime.

Spring Pruning: How to Prune Flowering & Fruiting Trees to Avoid Disease?

Spring is a time of growth and renewal — and your trees are no exception. If you have flowering or fruit-bearing trees, a proper spring pruning can help you enjoy a bountiful harvest and stunning blooms. We recommend that you follow these steps:

After the Bloom

Make sure that you wait until after the tree has finished flowering to prune. Not only does this let you enjoy the blossoms for longer, but it allows the tree to use its energy to produce fruit or next year’s blooms. You run the risk of stressing the tree out if you leave the flowers but remove their leafy energy stores.

Deadhead & Shape

Remove spent flowers (a process known in the business as deadheading) and shape the tree to improve aesthetics. A neat reshape and tidy aims to increase airflow, reducing the risk of disease. As we mentioned during winter, you want to take out some of the bulk without removing more than 20% of branches.

Thinning for Fruit Trees

For those of you who are lucky enough to have active fruit trees, it’s important to thin out excess fruit when they are small. Doing this in early spring will promote healthy fruit development. Thinning will also prevent branches from breaking due to the weight of too many fruits on a single limb.

Summer Pruning: How to Prune Young & Fast-Growing Trees & Control Size?

Welcome to the boom season! Summer is when many trees experience rapid growth. Young trees in particular may benefit from a little extra attention during this time. Here’s how you do it:

Control Size

To manage the size and shape of your tree, prune back excessive growth. Focus on removing long, unruly branches. This is a job best left to an expert in tree pruning services, especially if you’re dealing with a tall tree. No job is too big or small for MTS, but we specialise in those tricky, high-up projects.

Correct Structural Issues

If you notice any structural problems or crossing branches, summer is the time to address them. For example, you want to get rid of any co-dominant stems (branches trying to take over the central stem to become the leader), as they’re likely to unbalance the structure in the future.

Watch for Signs of Stress

Keep an eye on your tree for signs of stress, such as wilting leaves or limbs that droop too much. Pruning away these issues can help the tree recover, and stop sending their stores of energy to branches that might not recover. Wilting limbs can also be a sign that the limb is about to die — something you need to get ahead of if your tree is tall.

Autumn Pruning: How to Prune Evergreen & Deciduous Trees & Prepare for Winter?

Ah, the crunch of the leaves underfoot, the smell in the air — are trees ever more beautiful than they are in autumn? As the leaves start to change colour and fall, it’s time to prepare your trees for the upcoming winter. Here’s how our expert team thinks you should do it:

Deciduous Trees

For deciduous trees — which are trees that lose their leaves in the winter — autumn is an excellent time to do some cleaning up. Remove dead or weak branches before they become a problem in winter storms — you don’t want limbs flying through your yard when the wind hits.

Evergreen Trees

For trees that keep their leaves in winter, getting ahead is the name of the game. Prune your evergreen trees early in the autumn to avoid pruning during the colder months when they are less resilient.

Winter Preparation

It’s not pruning, but it is important! If you have fruit trees, it’s vital that you use the autumnal season to prepare them for the icy cold temperatures to come. Once autumn starts, nutrients and energy produced by leaves are drawn back into the roots to keep the dormant fruit tree alive until spring. This means that frost damage at the roots is a death sentence; keep your roots healthy by placing mulch at the base of your trees towards the end of autumn.

Special Cases: How to Prune Damaged, Diseased, or Dead Branches & Restore Tree Health?

Sometimes, your tree needs extra attention due to damage, disease, or dead branches. When this happens, your best bet is to call in the tree pruning service experts at MTS, to make sure your tricky tree gets the right treatment. In the meantime, here’s how we recommend you handle these special cases, while you wait for your arborist:

Diseased Branches

If you notice signs of disease like cankers, remove affected branches right away. This will prevent the disease from spreading to healthy areas.

Damaged Branches

Trim damaged branches to prevent further injury to the tree and reduce the risk of breakage during storms.

Dead Branches

Dead limbs and branches should be pruned year-round, as they pose a safety hazard and don’t serve any purpose in the tree’s health. If you have dead branches on a tall tree, contact us right away to prevent property damage or personal injury.

Tree pruning is a consistent endeavour that maintains the wellbeing of your leafy friends. Each season presents unique opportunities to care for your trees, from stimulating growth in the spring to preparing them for winter in autumn. To make sure your trees are getting the care they need, book in tree pruning services from Melbourne Tree Specialists. Whether you’re looking for Morning Peninsula tree pruning or Doncaster tree stump removal, we service a huge area of Melbourne. Contact us today to get an on-site quote for your next pruning project!