One of the questions we get consistently here at GDB Landscaping is: “when should I prune my trees?” The answer varies considerably depending on the type of tree involved, but knowing the right time to prune is vital to the overall health and longevity of your foliage. Trees pruned too early or late can suffer long-term damage, but when tended to correctly will grow stronger. Below are some basic guidelines for a few popular categories of trees and shrubbery.

Fruit Trees:

The best window for pruning fruit trees is roughly from March through to Mid-April. Trees that are trimmed during the late summer, fall or the winter may suffer damage from cooler temperatures. This can hinder the production of fruit in the following spring, or potentially kill the tree entirely.

Evergreen and Conifer Trees:

Evergreens enter their dormant period during the winter months, making it the ideal season to get rid of unwanted branches, especially in the lower region, also known as the “tree skirt”. Spruce and fir trees may also be trimmed during their dormant stage to control annual growth. Smaller or new branches of Pines can be cut during the summer as well to control thinning.

Deciduous Trees:

Deciduous trees should be trimmed/pruned back between February and April, just before new buds are formed, and their leaves begin to regrow. Deciduous trees will tend to bleed heavily during this time after pruning because of sap build up, but this will speed up the healing process.

Pruning Deciduous trees during the spring and summer can increase the chances of diseases and parasite infestation as the tree during this period has lower energy reserves. Stick to the above months to avoid any unwanted damage.


Shrubs that flower in the spring can be pruned back after the flowers have been spent, or in early spring if flowers are not desired, and growth needs to be controlled. These types of shrubs include Caragana, Deutzia, Forsythia, Flowering Almond, Lilac, Purple Leaf Sandcherry, Rhododendron. Summer flowering shrubs should be pruned in early spring before growth begins, then pruned again to remove spent flowers. These include Roses, Pink Spireas, Potentillas, Butterfly Bush, Blue Mist Shrub and Hydrangea.

Keeping on top of your trees and shrubs can be tricky, but having the right schedule in mind can make things a breeze. To learn more about caring for your yard, or to book year round landscaping services, give us a call today!