Though winter is the most recommended time to prune, Portland tree pruning in the summertime can provide particular benefits for fruit trees and damaged trees. It can also be advantageous for general tree shaping.
The following is a simple guide to summer tree pruning. As always, please consult our Portland certified arborists for specialized knowledge and information.
Summer Tree Pruning Goals & Benefits
- Remove dead limbs. Summer pruning plays an important role in the removal of dead, damaged, and diseased tree limbs. Any limb that has the potential to cause damage or stress to your tree should be removed. This enhances the tree’s potential for robust growth while minimizing the chance that a weakened branch will fall on your home during a storm.
- Encourage hearty growth. Pruning in summer may encourage vigor. In summertime, weak tree growth should be pinched or pruned back about 3 inches from the end of each soft, leafy shoot. This can be repeated again in late summer if rapid side-shoot growth occurs. As always, it is best to leave pruning in the hands of professionals, such as our Portland certified arborists.
- Help fruit trees grow strong. Fruit trees are often good candidates for summer pruning. Pruning them allows more light penetration, which can support young tree development. Proper pruning can encourage mature trees to produce fruit of greater quality and size. Increased light and air circulation resulting from pruning encourages the overall health of the tree. Pruning in the summer helps to support robust and durable branch development, which will help support healthy fruit in the future. Some fruit trees, such as apricots and cherries, are susceptible to disease when pruned during the rainy season. It is best to prune these fruit trees in the summer, preferably in July or August. Peach trees, nectarine trees, and Japanese plum trees often grow very quickly, rapidly reaching impressive heights, while neglecting the development of sturdy limbs. Pruning these trees in the summer can reduce this occurrence, and support the growth of stronger branches. As always, it is best to consult a Portland tree pruning expert as each fruit tree is different.
- Pest Control. Another benefit of summer pruning is pest control. By removing branches and fruit that have mites or aphid damage you are protecting the overall health and longevity of the tree. You are also ensuring that your fruit trees produce delicious, healthy fruit that’s free of pests. Make sure to throw out these defective limbs or fruits. To prevent infestation, do not compost them.
Summer Pruning: Special Considerations and Potential Dangers
Pruning in the summer is primarily for shaping and creating a solid structure. Heavy pruning should be saved for winter, when trees are under less stress. Moreover, it is important to do your summer pruning earlier in the season. If you wait to long, you could put the tree at risk of water damage or winter injury. Rain can damage fresh cuts on a tree, so it is better to wait to prune if rain is in the near future. Avoid pruning in fall all together.
If you are still mulling over whether or not to prune and/or how much to prune, it is likely in your best interest and the best interest of your beautiful trees to contact a reputable Portland tree pruning service such as Urban Forest Professionals.