It is a fact that pruning during dormancy is a method which is followed the most. This is because tree pruning is a precursor to a time of a lot of new and quick growth of the tree. If you wish for this to happen, that is to make the tree grow really fast, then pruning is the right method to be adopted. Also, there is another aspect to the right timing of this matter. Try to wait it out till the harshest duration of winters is over. There are some trees like maple, walnuts and birches which tend to ‘bleed’ as and when the tree sap flows.
If you wish to chart out a growth course for the tree by slowing down growth of branches you want should remain stumped, try pruning after the seasonal growth of the tree is over. Slowing effect will happen if the total leaf area is reduced, then the food produced and sent across to the roots also lessens. Pruning during summers has another reason behind it. During this time, it is easier to spot the so-called ‘defective limbs’ of the tree which need to be pruned away.
If the reason behind pruning is to add weight to the flowering of the tree, try to prune trees which blossom in spring at a time when their flowers fade. Those plants and trees which bear flowers in mid or late summers should be pruned during the winter or early spring months of the year. It is best to not go in for pruning during the fall season. At this time, fungi spread out their spores on trees. This is the time, hence, when healing of the cut portions takes place at a much slower rate than it otherwise would.
At the time of pruning, ensure that you do your visual recce of the job at hand from the top of the tree and move downwards. This will enable you to get a much more clearer picture of what you should do. There are certain other principles to follow as well: try not to do away with more than one fourth of the crown of the tree during one season of pruning; make sure that the main side branches of the tree be one third smaller than the diameter of the main trunk of the tree; for deciduous type of trees – do not prune up from the bottom any length more than one thirds of the tree height.
Sometimes we end up painting the ‘wound area’ of the pruned tree. This does not help in any which way. It is just a matter of cosmetics in this case. It is best to always remember that tree pruning, trimming, cutting or whatever else you would like to term this process, is something which goes on during the entire life of the tree. Proper pruning will make you come out with a more healthy and a better looking tree!