Tree Trimming In Summer? Can I Do That?

Certified Arborists Serving Ventura & Los Angeles Counties

News And Advice From The Leading Thousand Oaks Tree Trimming Company

Keeping your yard in shape over the summer months can seem like a never-ending task. That’s why, when you spot a tree limb that clearly needs trimming, it’s tempting to just put it off ‘til autumn. But is that a good idea?

First off, you’re right that it’s best to prune trees in the dormant season, especially deciduous trees that have lost their leaves. It simply makes the job easier. But there are exceptions to every rule, and this exception is pretty important: you should always prune a tree immediately if it has a broken limb or hanging branch. Dead, broken or dying limbs should be removed at any time of year.

Exceptions That Allow Summer Pruning

  • Safety risks. If a tree poses a safety risk for any reason, now is the time to tackle the job. Don’t procrastinate if you think a branch or the whole tree is in danger of falling. Give us a call and we can advise you.
  • Small pruning jobs. If the branch or limb that needs pruning is less than one inch in diameter, it’s just fine to prune in summer.
  • Fruit trees. You can improve the quantity of fruit production and its quality if you thin blooms and fruit as they set.
  • Sappy hardwoods. Not many homeowners have hardwoods growing in the Conejo Valley; our climate is not perfect for these trees. However, they’re certainly common enough to make note of. So, if you have a maple, walnut or birch tree, summertime pruning can actually be preferable because these trees ooze sap if you prune them in winter or early spring.
  • Trees that are getting too large. If you have a tree that is simply outgrowing the size of your yard, then you might want to prune it in summer to reduce its growth next year. Again, this is a judgment call, so give us a call for a professional opinion.

If you decide to prune in summer, cut conservatively (unless it’s for safety reasons; then cut as necessary). The reason for caution is simple: if you prune excessively in summer, you’re reducing the total amount of leaves, and food flowing through leaves is required for next year’s growth.

Pruning Oaks — A Particular Concern In The Conejo

As a general and well-established rule, avoid trimming oaks in summer. The open pruning wounds can make the tree especially vulnerable to certain diseases, in particular those spread by insects that are attracted to freshly cut limbs. If pruning an oak is required for safety reasons, it’s advisable to paint the pruned limbs with latex paint — that helps make them less attractive to insects that might be carrying a fungus.

Call A Certified Arborist

As you can see from the many exceptions that we covered above, making the decision to prune a tree in summer is not an easy call. Some problems or indications of problems are hard to detect, and a problem in one species might not be so bad in another. In addition, cutting limbs larger than four inches in diameter in any season can be dangerous without proper training.

Our advice: give us a call if you think you need a tree pruned. We’re happy to give you an objective and professional opinion about your options.