Pruning has many benefits for trees and shrubs in your landscape. Pruned trees are safer and have a better appearance. Removing dead or dying branches promotes plant and tree health.
The best time to prune is while trees and plants are dormant in winter. It is generally best to wait until the coldest part of the winter has passed. The resting period proceeds a time of active growth in which the wound will heal rapidly. Insects and diseases are not as prevalent during this time and wounds have time to heal without these issues. Another reason to prune during this time is the leaves are gone and it is easier to see where pruning is needed. You will be able to see dead or dying branches, crossing branches and prune to keep the natural shape of the tree.
The exceptions to pruning during this time are plants and trees that flower in the spring from buds created the previous season. The spring-flowering shrubs and trees should be pruned immediately after their bloom to give them time to make new growth to get next spring’s flowers. The general thought for pruning flowering shrubs and flowering trees is if it flowers after May 15th, pruning in the late winter for many blooms in the summer.