When is Tree Pruning Necessary?

07 Nov '19

pruning tree branchPruning is one of those lawn care tasks that require you to strike a careful balance. Trees that are allowed to overgrow become a hazard to humans and property. Yet, overdoing those cuts could cause your tree to stop bearing fruit or even die off. 

The right time and way to prune your trees depend upon multiple factors, such as the time of year and type of trees that you have. Our guide will help you get started the right way so that they’ll thrive throughout each season.

How Do I Know If My Trees Need Pruning?

One of the primary purposes is to make trees look better. You may need to prune your tree to eliminate an unsightly branch or to give it a rounder look at the crown. 

However, aesthetics should not be the only reason. Trees with dead branches need to be pruned, as well as fruit trees to promote them to bearing more produce in the upcoming year. Your trees may also need to be pruned to reduce excessive growth, that inhibits sunlight from reaching the roots, or that leads to heavy branches that break.

When is the Best Time to Prune?

pruning tree branchesArizona trees should be pruned according to their type and the season. Deciduous trees are easier to cut back during the winter months, when their leaves are less full, so that you have better visibility. The cooler weather is also better for plants that are sensitive to the heat.

Citrus trees, however, should not be pruned during the colder months, since frost can damage newly trimmed limbs. Instead, it is better to do so just before you expect the new season’s fruit to begin to flower. 

Drought-resistant trees should be pruned around the beginning to the middle part of the summer. Ideally, you should remove overgrown branches before the start of the monsoon season to prevent damage that occurs during heavy rain and wind.

How Much Pruning is Beneficial?

As a general rule, less is more. Try to look at it as if you were giving a haircut for the first time. You cannot replace a branch once it is cut off. 

There is also somewhat of an art form for pruning trees. For instance, fruit and nut-bearing trees can be cut back to encourage growth, while keeping the branches in the proper range for harvesting the crops. We can help you determine the proper way to prune the trees in your landscape so that you achieve your desired results.

What Is Topping?

pruning tree branch with a pruning scissorAt times, trees seem to rapidly grow too tall too fast. You might be so worried about a tree overtaking your yard that you want to start cutting off the top branches - which is called topping. While this might stop the branch from scraping your home’s roof, it can lead to other problems. 

Topping sometimes leads to further excessive growth as the cut branches start to make more sprouts. These deep cuts also open the pathway up for fungi to flourish. A better option is to stop excessive tree growth with special plant hormone treatments that target the real underlying problem.

Pruning should always be done with the same level of care that you provide to your other lawn and garden tasks. When done right, it results in beautiful trees that enhance the landscape, but a bad or ill-timed job can leave you with more trouble than you had before. 


When in doubt, give us a shout. We’ll let you know if it’s the right time of year to prune your trees. We also have options that can restore the health of badly trimmed trees or stop excessive growth that tempts you to chop off more than your trees can handle.

Custom Weed & Pest Control has been in business since 1989, serving the greater Phoenix metro area for both residential and commercial. We have teamed up with Tree Theory, and offer plant and tree care, with customized service to meet your specific needs.

Related Page: Pruning Tips for Your Garden

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