5 Reasons Why You May Need To Prune In Summer

Posted on: 30 May 2023

Tree pruning is typically considered a winter or late spring chore since trees are less likely to suffer issues if they are trimmed while they are still dormant. There are some exceptions to this rule that may mean that a summer pruning service is needed.

1. Storm Damage 

Summer thunderstorms often bring with them high winds, hail, or even lightning strikes. The resulting damage to a tree can pose a danger, especially if there are broken branches at risk of falling. Trimming out damaged wood should be done as soon as possible, even if it is summer. If the tree is susceptible to summer diseases when pruned, such as it is with oak trees and oak wilt, then your tree service may paint a sealer over the pruning scars to protect the tree.

2. Branch Dieback 

Branches can die off for a variety of reasons, ranging from pest or disease damage to mechanical damage such as when two branches rub together. Pruning out the dead branches or cutting them back to healthy wood can prevent the further spread of disease and possibly save the remaining branch. Light trimming to remove dieback is okay in summer, but avoid heavy pruning when possible.

3. Hedge Shaping

Shaping a hedge or windbreak planting are probably the most common reasons to prune trees in summer. Generally, hedge shrubs and trees are evergreen varieties, so they are less prone to damage or stress when pruned in the active growing season. The major hedge trimming still takes place during winter dormancy, but light pruning throughout summer to maintain the basic shape is fine. Just avoid pruning later in the fall, as you don't want to encourage tender new growth that can be damaged by winter freezes.

4. Fruit Trees

Another type of tree that can be pruned in summer is fruiting trees. This is thinning pruning, to remove excess blossom clusters so that the tree can divert its energy to producing healthier fruit on the remaining blossoms. Some ornamental fruit trees are also pruned in summer after flowering to prevent fruit formation entirely, as these trees are prized for their flowers and not for the mess that fruiting can make in the landscape.

5. Sap Reduction

Some trees, like maple and birch, begin to produce copious amounts of sap in late winter and into the spring. This can make for messing pruning, as well as messy sap dripping all over anything beneath the tree. The running sap from pruning wounds may also attract pests. These trees can be pruned in early summer after sap production slows if you have concerns. 

Contact a tree pruning service if you need more help.