Trimming and Pruning Best Practices

Trimming and pruning of trees and shrubs is essential to maintaining the appeal of your homes landscape.


The ideal time to prune a tree is when it is dormant, from late fall to early spring. The worst time to prune trees is late spring and early summer when their leaves are expanding and the tree is putting its energy toward growth. However, certain species must be trimmed within a more specific window in order to reduce the potential for disease.

Oaks are susceptible to “Oak Wilt” after trimming. As such, it is recommended that oaks be pruned no earlier than November and no later than April 1st.

Birches, American Elms, Maples, and Walnuts should be pruned no later than January to allow the freshly exposed wood to harden before sap flow begins.

Shrubs to prune pre-spring bloom:

• Abelia
• Beautyberry
• Butterfly bush
• Rose of Sharon
• Summersweet

Shrubs to prune mid-June or later (when they’re done blooming):

• Forsythia
• Lilac
• Viburnum
• Mock-orange
• Hydrangea