4 Reasons You Should Not Prune Your Trees In The Fall

Falling leaves can get on our nerves when autumn rolls around. You might get the idea of pruning those dead-looking branches, and you may wonder should I trim my trees this fall? Should I not? What’s the best time for it? As a professional tree pruning service in Massachusetts, here is what we can tell you.

Pruning is an important practice to help grow and shape your garden or landscaping. However, you should know when to prune, and that autumn is not a good time for tree pruning.

Trimming during the fall season can be risky for your trees and plants. Pruning and trimming leave wounds on the trees. These wounds will not heal during the cold season and can cause decay, infection, and other diseases. Aside from that, there are other reasons you should not prune your trees in the fall. Let’s check them one by one.

Reason No. 1: Pruning in Cold Weather Can Stunt Your Tree’s Growth

Yes, pruning stimulates new growth for plants and trees. However, pruning in the fall season could lead to a different result.

It is not an opportune time because, during the cold season, trees enter their dormant period. It will stop or slow down the growth of your trees. The little buds that grow as a result of pruning may not survive in the harsh winter, or they may not grow at all.

Pruning in Cold Weather Can Stunt Your Tree’s Growth - Shore Tree Service

While preparing for the dormant period, plants and trees focus on strengthening their roots to face the harsh weather. They allocate all their energy down to the tips of their roots and get that tight grip on the soil, allowing them to become durable. However, when you prune your trees, the energy that is supposed to be sent down will be reallocated to heal the wounds and force the trees to bud for growth. This strains the trees, stunt or stop their growth, and nullifies the purpose of pruning for growth.

Reason No. 2: Cuts from Pruning Will Not Heal Quickly

Cuts from Pruning Will Not Heal Quickly - Shore Tree Service

When plants and trees go into their dormant period, their healing capabilities slow down. The rate of healing will take longer and can affect the plants, especially if they have open wounds.

They leave open wounds when you cut your plants during trimming and pruning. These open wounds will be exposed to harsh weather and can be harmed. Open wounds tend to attract insects or get infected. Thus, it is best to avoid having these exposed for a long period of time.

Reason No. 3: It’s Hard To Tell Which Branches Should be Cut

With the leaves falling off the tree, you might get confused about which branches should be cut. So it’s best to prune during the spring or summer season to identify which to cut and which to leave. It is also safer for your plants.

It’s Hard To Tell Which Branches Should be Cut - Shore Tree Service

Reason No. 4: Pruning in Autumn Can Make Your Trees Sick

As mentioned before, cuts during the dormant period or the fall season heal more slowly, causing the tree to get sick and contract fungal afflictions. One of the most obvious fungal afflictions in your trees is the growth of mushrooms on its bark. They grow on the wound area of the trees. To avoid this, you should not prune your trees in the fall or during the wet season.

When Can I Trim My Trees?

Spring is the best time to prune and trim your trees. It can be in the late winter, early spring, mid-spring, or late spring. The ideal time will depend on what kind of tree you are going to prune. Some trees are better off being pruned earlier or later than others. However, generally, we advise that you prune your trees early-mid spring.

When Can I Trim My Trees - Shore Tree Service Quincy, MA

Tips for Pruning Trees

Tips for Pruning Trees - Shore Tree Service Quincy, MA

Now that you understand why you should not prune your trees this fall and when you should do it, here are some tips for pruning smaller trees at home.

  1. Do not prune your trees when they are wet. As discussed earlier, this may cause fungal afflictions on the trees or spread diseases. Dampness can cause microbes to grow on trees and damage them.
  2. Properly identify which parts to cut. You should also identify the purpose of your pruning. If it’s for growth, then you should cut off dead limbs or dying branches. If there is a disease on a specific branch, then you should also cut it. You could also ask for help from a professional to identify the branches and prune them for you.
  3. Know how to prune properly. It is advisable to cut as close to the main tree as possible. This helps it keep the tree healthy and avoid insects living off the tree nubbin.
  4. Use the proper tools for trimming. Yes, they are tools that are specifically used for trimming. You should use them accordingly and also have them cleaned after use. Clean tools help avoid the spread of diseases from one tree to another.

Learn more about Autumn Tree Care Tips here!


Well-pruned trees and shrubs cannot only beautify your home’s exterior but also keep you safe. Exercising proper tree maintenance can surely help your trees stay healthy.

Tree Trimming and Pruning Services in Quincy, MA - Shore Tree Service

With Shore Tree Service, you ensure that your tree is properly pruned in accordance with your purpose, be it for beautification or for safety. We at Shore Tree Service are the professional tree-trimming service provider that you are looking for in Massachusetts. We do it systematically, starting from inspection, pruning, and trimming up until the disposal of the debris. For more information, you can call us at 781-386-0707 or request a free quote today.

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