The Importance of Spring Pruning

Don’t Overlook the Importance of Spring Pruning This Season!

Ah, spring is in the air! While you may already be busy working on your spring cleaning tasks inside, don’t overlook the importance of spring pruning for your garden. Early spring is the perfect time to prune your trees and shrubs in preparation for new growth and blooms. While spring pruning may seem like a daunting task, our expert arborists at Monster Tree Service are here to help guide you through it. Let’s look at why spring pruning is important, tips for the job, and what plants to focus on this season. When it comes to pruning, we’ve got you covered from root to branch!


What is Spring Pruning?

Spring pruning is the act of strategically removing dead or heavy branches from trees and shrubs to stimulate growth and improve the plant's structural integrity. Early spring is the best time of year to prune because it is a peak growing season for plants, allowing them to recover from the trimming more easily. Our team of experts at Monster Tree Service is here to help you understand why spring pruning is essential, how to prune, and what plants to prune.


Why is Spring Pruning Important?

When it comes to pruning, timing is everything. Professional arborists advise pruning trees during the dormant season of early spring, typically ranging from January to March, depending on your location and weather. Pruning in the spring is important because the foliage has not yet grown, making it easier to see which branches need to be removed and handle their disposal.


Pruning during spring isn’t just easier for homeowners and arborists — it’s also easier for the trees! Trees and shrubs need time to heal from pruning cuts, and they are under less stress before the growing season starts. Pruning during the late spring or summer months leaves trees more susceptible to drought, infections, and pests.

The Expert Guide to Spring Pruning

What Spring Brings

Flowering or fruiting trees should never be pruned UNTIL the fruits and flowers have already been produced. Spring pruning is not encouraged unless a professional arborist has determined your tree species and recommends pruning in Spring. Here’s what Monster Tree Service can recommend:


Spring Clean-Up and Assessment

Clean-up of broken branches and winter storm damage within the tree

Look for cracks in the tree trunk

Assess branch attachments

Inspect leaves for problems or branches showing a delay in new foliage or no new growth

Branches to be addressed with special attention to important areas, like homes, pools, playgrounds, trampolines

Mitigate risks in and around high traffic areas

Inspect trees and shrubs for pests/diseases from the previous year.


Important Pruning Terms

In order to become a spring pruning expert, you need to learn the vocabulary! Here are some important pruning terms to familiarize yourself with before starting the job.

  • Leader - The leader is the vertical stem or trunk from which all other branches emerge. It carries water and nutrients through the tree, so don’t cut it!

  • Scaffold Branches - Scaffold branches are the main branches that form the tree's canopy. Typically, these will not be pruned unless they are damaged or affect the tree's structural integrity.

  • Lateral Branches - Lateral branches grow off scaffold branches and produce buds and leaves. These branches will typically need to be pruned.

  • Water Sprouts and Suckers - Sprouts and suckers are small branches that grow off the tree trunk or root system. These need to be pruned to encourage the tree to grow branches higher up in the canopy.

  • Heading Cuts - Heading cuts are pruning cuts to lateral branches, stimulating the growth of individual scaffold branches.

  • Thinning Cuts - Thinning cuts remove scaffold branches from the trunk, encouraging the growth of the overall tree and improving the structural integrity.

Must-know Pruning Tips

When it comes to pruning, there are three major tips to remember. First, always prune in early spring before the growing season. Use clean and sharp trimming tools to avoid splintering and disease transfer. And finally, never cut a branch without a reason! Spring pruning is an intentional job. So, make sure you have a plan before going into it. Dying branches and structurally unsound trees not only create an eyesore in your yard but can also pose significant safety risks to your family and home. For larger tree trimming and pruning jobs, call in the expert arborists from Monster Tree Service. Our highly trained arborists will provide you with a free tree assessment and estimate and use state-of-the-art equipment to get your yard spring-ready.


So, What Plants Do I Need to Prune?

Each tree, shrub, and flower in your garden has different needs. Here are the plants you should consider pruning in the spring. When in doubt, call in the experts for advice!

  • Conifers and Evergreens

  • Fruit Trees

  • Hedges and Topiaries

  • Flowering and Non-flowering Shrubs

  • Any Plant with Dead Growth


Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help

Pruning can be intimidating, especially if you are new to the job. When in doubt, ask for help! Contact your locally owned and operated Monster Tree Service team to get a free assessment and expert opinion from licensed and insured arborists. Let’s spring into pruning together!