When Should I Prune and Trim My Trees in Edmonton

Pruning your trees annually can help with disease prevention and improve the overall health of the trees in your backyard. Many people in Edmonton ask the question: When should I prune my trees? The answer isn’t as simple as one time of year. There are specific times of year that are best for each type of tree. So let’s break down the five most common types you’re likely to find in your Edmonton yard. 

  1. Elm Trees
  2. Ash Trees
  3. Maple Trees
  4. Apple Trees
  5. Birch Trees

Learn more about tree pruning from our article: Can I Prune My Tree Myself, or Should I Hire an Arborist?

When Should I Prune Elm Trees

Dutch Elm Disease, or DED, is a fungus affecting all types of Alberta Elm trees. It is imperative to follow specific pruning guidelines to avoid catching or spreading this deadly disease. April-August you do NOT want to do any trimming, as this is when DED spreading beetles can be at their worst. Before April or after August, you should remove any unhealthy or dead portions of your Elm, which will help remove the breeding grounds for infected beetles. However, if you see any yellow or wilted leaves near the top of your Elm Tree, regardless of the time of year, you should remove those branches immediately as they are most likely suffering from DED.

Best time to trim Elm Trees: Not between April-August

Learn more with our guide to Common Tree Diseases in Edmonton

When Should I Prune Ash Trees

While most trees benefit from a good spring trim, Ash trees do not. Autumn pruning is the best for your Ash Trees when they begin to go dormant. Remove any broken or dead branches. It’s essential to get rid of these as it will decrease the chances of spreading disease or insect infestation to the rest of the tree. Only prune dead or dying branches or any you have growing back towards the tree itself. Avoid pruning your Ash trees in the summer as stressed Ash trees are more likely to get ash borers, which can cause significant damage to your tree. Annual trimming of your Ash Tree is a great idea to avoid any weak branch breakage. 

Best time to trim Ash Trees: In the late fall.

When Should I Prune Maple Trees

Your backyard Maple Tree will benefit most from a prune in early spring or late winter. Trimming them before the spring bloom is ideal. Avoid pruning your Maples in the fall because the fallen leaves and the wet environment can result in maple tree disease. Alternatively, you can help shape them with a light prune in the late summer; this will also help slow the growth of particular branches you don’t want to get too large. It’s essential to remove any branches rubbing against each other as they can harm themselves, such as exposing tissue and inviting fungal infections.                        

Best time to trim Maple Trees: Early Spring or Later Winter.

When Should I Prune Apple Trees

While many trees have specific seasons that are best for pruning, your Apple Tree can benefit at different times of the year. If you choose to prune your Apple Tree during the summer, this can help it produce more fruit! Trimming it back will encourage its growth and result in more apples, but be sure only to do a light trim, as over-pruning can be harmful. Once the growing season is over, it can also be an excellent time for a clean-up. It will prevent any weak or dying branches from breaking over the winter months and can help strengthen your tree for a great growing season next year. It is important to trim back any small or weak branches that won’t be strong enough to hold the weight of the apples and cause breakage. Winter is an excellent time for any more significant pruning as it will cause minimal stress to your Apple Tree. 

Best time to trim Apple Trees: Year-Round selective trimming.

When Should I Prune Birch Trees

When it comes to your Birch Trees, it is best to prune them later in the summer or early fall. Avoid trimming them all together when they are coming out of their dormant season, as they will have a heavy sap flow during this time. When you prune them at their ideal time, it will also decrease your risk of getting disease-spreading insects, like the Birch Tree Boers, that can end up killing your tree. Your Birch Tree can grow quite large, so it’s essential to keep it trimmed to avoid any hazardous branches from falling.

Best time to trim Birch  Trees: Late summer or early fall

Final Thoughts

Maintaining the different trees in your backyard is extremely important to ensure they’re healthy, happy and continue to grow big and strong! Pruning can help your tree avoid disease, and removing damaged branches can prevent harm to your or your neighbour’s property. It’s essential to prune your trees at the ideal time for their species as each type of tree has specific needs. Reaching out to a certified arborist at Arborman Tree Care will ensure proper care and pruning of your trees! 

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