Should You Have Your Trees Trimmed In The Fall?

As the weather starts cooling down and fall rolls in, you may find yourself wondering if this is a good time to have your trees trimming. After all, they're losing their leaves and starting to go dormant, and everyone knows it's best to trim a tree when it's dormant, right? Well, sort of — fall is not really the best season for tree trimming. Spring is better. But there are instances in which fall trimming is called for and some ways you can make it a healthy experience for your trees.

When is fall trimming a good idea?

Basically, you should only trim a tree in the fall if the maintenance cannot wait until spring. If your tree has a branch with a big crack in it, for example, you should have that branch trimmed off so it doesn't get weighed down with snow and snap off on its own in the winter. If your tree has not been trimmed in a few years and you are worried about snow weighing it down because there are so many small branches so close together, that's also a good reason to trim.

Other reasons to trim a tree in the fall include:

  • A branch is overhanging your roof
  • A branch is touching or within a few feet of your power lines
  • The tree has some diseased limbs that should be removed ASAP

How can you make fall trimming better for the tree?

There are two main reasons spring pruning is usually preferred. For one, pruning in the fall can stimulate new growth if you don't time it right, and then that growth may be damaged by winter weather. Also, wounds heal faster in the spring than in the fall since the tree is starting to "gear up" for new growth in the spring. With that said, here are some ways to make fall pruning safer for trees.

  • Wait until all of the leaves are fallen. This is late October or early November in most areas.
  • Be scrupulous about your sanitation practices. Sanitize your shears between each and every tree.
  • Use really sharp shears. These create cuts that are easier for the tree to heal.
  • Wait for a dry day; do not trim in the rain.

Fall is not the best season to prune, but it is the second-best season to prune. Follow the tips above if you have to trim a tree during the fall months.

For more tips, reach out to a company like Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc.