8 Reasons You Should Consider Winter Tree Pruning

Summer is on its way and the trees, shrubs, flowers, and grass in your yard are probably exploding with new growth. It can be tempting to pull out the pruning shears and get to work, but is spring or summer really the best time to prune trees? Believe it or not, you should typically hang up your shears until the weather turns cold again – here’s why. 

Why is Winter the Best Time to Prune Trees? 

Winter is probably the last time you’d think to prune or trim trees on your property but it’s actually the best. One big reason is that it’s cheaper in the winter – pruning services are less in demand during this season as it is the last thing on people’s minds, so your wallet will thank you. 

Here are several other reasons we recommend pruning trees in winter versus spring or summer: 

  1. It’s less stressful for most tree species, which is one of the biggest reasons why winter is the best time to prune trees. You want healthy, happy trees that are ready to bloom again next spring. There’s no sap running through the trees in winter, which means they won’t bleed where they’ve been trimmed. Additionally, warm-season insects and pathogens aren’t active so your tree is less vulnerable to attack where it’s been pruned or cut. 
  2. Another reason we recommend pruning trees in winter is because trees are “sleeping” during this season – they’re resting from growth over the spring and summer, and have stored energy for next spring. This makes them more receptive and resilient to trimming and shaping. 
  3. Deciduous trees – trees that lose their leaves in the fall – are bare in the winter. This makes it easier to assess their shape and structure and decide where to trim or prune. 


  1. Similarly, trees that need cabling or stabilizing to make them safe to prune are easier to work with when they don’t have any leaves. 
  2. Frozen ground is also more stable. This means cranes or other heavy equipment needed for tree pruning or removal are less likely to damage your lawns and planting areas. 
  3. You’ll be able to remove any damaged or dangerous trees from your yard before winter storms and high winds arrive. 

Winter Tree Pruning Isn’t for all Trees 

However, winter tree pruning isn’t recommended for ALL trees. Trees and shrubs that flower in the early spring should be pruned once they’re done flowering. 

Are you wondering when the best time is to prune trees in your yard? Reach out to our team here at Hometown Tree. Our certified tree experts can assess the health of your trees and let you know if they need to be trimmed or removed.