The regular maintenance of Trees and Shrubs is extremely important. Just like mowing is crucial to the health of your lawn, tree trimming is vitally important to the overall health of your landscaping.
All year long, you will need to do minor pruning, but you will also need to plan the raising of your canopy and major cuts at least once a year.
You will always want to remove dead limbs because it will help the tree not waste energy in the dead or dying area. You can also trim trees and shrubs to improve the shape of the landscaping.
Cutting a limb in one place causes the tree to redirect growth to another side. Trimming would also include raising the canopy of the trees or shrubs to bring more light to the lawn.
When trimming or pruning, you will need to be mindful of making any cut bigger than 3-4 inches. Just like humans, trees have a flow of nutrients that helps to keep them alive.
It’s important to remember this when trimming trees and shrubs because it is essentially creating an open “wound”.
When determining the best time for tree and shrub trimming, it is really determining the best time to create the wound and give the tree or shrub the best chance at recovery.
If done at the wrong time, it will create a major stressor for the tree. If a branch is truly dead then it presents a safety hazard.
At any point, it could break off and cause bodily harm or structural damage. Do not wait to remove dead branches or limbs.
You would not want to do this in the spring because it is the tree’s peak growing season and the stress can restrict the growth of the tree and reduce its defenses when they are most susceptible to insects and diseases.
When trees are under stress, they release a pheromone which attracts insects and diseases like aphids, or bagworms.
Treatment in the summer would not be ideal because the summer heat alone is a major stress factor to the landscaping and adding in the stress of a wound could inflict major damage on the tree or shrub.
The best time to prune or trim your trees and shrubs would be fall or winter. You will want to prune or trim the trees and shrubs once the tree has become mostly dormant.
A good rule of thumb would be when temperatures are consistently below 70 but before they drop below 50 degrees.
One good cold snap can stop the flow and begin the process of dormancy for the tree or shrub.
It is important to do trimming before it becomes too cold because the “wounded” area is more susceptible to freeze damage and a surprise freeze or winter storm highly increases the chance of losing the landscaping.
In North Texas, the month of the year that would be best suited is typically October.