Many people may think that the only time to safely prune a tree is during the colder months. But some trees will benefit from pruning during the warmer months too, with absolutely no harm done to them. 

Extra Attention

In the warmer months, you should be aiming for summer tree pruning when it seems the tree needs some extra attention. And this extra attention can often be warranted. Some trees grow prolifically throughout the warmer months, meaning that a significant amount of pruning would ordinarily be needed in winter. 

Two Stages

Even though the tree is dormant, removing such a significant amount of its structure can be traumatic. To keep the tree at its healthiest, pruning should take place in two stages—the cold months and the warm months, with ample healing time between. Summer pruning should be less extreme too, and is more maintenance than an overhaul.

Late Summer

Pruning during the warmer months should take place in summer—and later in the summer, to be exact. Avoid pruning during the spring months, when the tree's growth is restarting after its winter dormancy. Pruning at this time can disrupt growth and can have an adverse effect on the tree's health. 

Birds and Bees

Late summer pruning also allows the plant to have flowered, and now that any flowers have opened, closed, and more-or-less died off, you shouldn't be bothered by bees. Any nesting birds have likely moved on by late summer too.


As mentioned, summer pruning is about maintenance, and the tree is better equipped to deal with a major overhaul during its winter dormancy. At any point in the year, potentially dangerous growth, such as large branches that could break off and cause injury or damage, should be removed. Aside from removing unwanted growth as needed, your summer pruning is largely concerned with helping the tree maintain its form and healthy growth.

DIY or Professional

Summer pruning can be as easy as giving the tree a bit of shape by removing unruly outer leaves and small branches. You may also wish to remove lower branches to give the tree the impression of a raised crown. Light summer pruning is a very simple task for a professional, so if you'd rather spend your summers doing something else, this is a good time of the year to have your trees professionally pruned.

Although colder months are better for major pruning, the more diligent you are with some light pruning in summer, the less likely you are to need major pruning in the winter.

Speak to a service such as Sal's Landscape & Tree Service to learn more.