Should I Prune During The Fall Months

What to Prune in the Fall

Should I Prune During The Fall Months-pruning-a-plant
Pruning a plant

Is the fall months the best time to carry out pruning procedures, well unlike popular belief the answer to that question is no and there are reasons for this but still is the fall months the best time of the year to prune? The answer to that question is it all depends on the reason or the goal of pruning or not to prune during this time of the year. In fact, both sides are right but as said there must be a reason for WHY.

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Why Should Pruning be Done in Fall

For Safety Reasons: Now that’s a good reason for pruning, if a large tree branch is hazardous or threatening the well-being of persons or pets for that matter such as rot starting to set in that may cause the branch to break causing damage to even property then that branch should be removed or there may be a branch or limb growing into the power lines again the removal of that branch can save someone’s life.

However, when it comes to the removal of large branches growing above the ground or even limbs that are growing into power lines a professional company should be hired don’t attempt to do these dangerous jobs yourself leave it to the professional.

For Security Purposes: Whether it is a tree, shrub, or ornamental flowering plant if the view of the homeowner is obstructed or the homeowner cannot see clearly from within the home as he looks out the window then it is important to prune away these plant material. Safety is always first, it does not matter how beautiful that plant may be. If it’s a security issue then prune those plant parts or remove the entire plant altogether.

Disease Plant Parts: If a disease is detected and can possibly kill your plant/plants then, by all means, remove those disease plant parts to stop the spread of disease from the healthy plant parts.

Broken Branches: The removal of broken branches will not only improve the appearance of your plants but is good for safety reasons.

Dead Branches: Dead branches do not only look unattractive but if allowed to remain on large trees can become a hazard, especially under heavy winds.

Why Not to Prune in the Fall

There are reasons why we should not prune during the fall months because this practice can have a negative impact on garden plants, we will be discussing why not to prune during the fall months.

New Growth: It’s a known fact that pruning will encourage or promote new growth, the danger in pruning during the fall months is that plants will begin to produce new growth that can be easily winter killed.

Plant Decay: Pruning in the fall right before plants go into a dormant period can encourage decay to set in. Because of the tree going into dormancy, the wounds will not heal as the winter months approach.

Can Encourage Fungal Issues: During the fall months, a tree wound will heal much slower which can cause fungal issues.

Avoid Pruning in Wet Conditions: Pruning in wet conditions can encourage the spread of diseases, conditions that are damp will encourage the growth of microbes that will take advantage of pruning wounds.

Tools that are Needed to Carry Out Pruning Jobs

Why Prune Trees, shrubs, and  Ornamental plants During SpringTime

We can all agree that we can’t get away from pruning procedures here are reasons why.

  • For plants to maintain their natural form
  • To control the growth of plants
  • To control the direction in which a plant grows
  • For a full fluffy plant, more foliage of leaves
  • To rejuvenate old growth
  • More flower bloom
  • A greater yield in fruit production
  • Prune for aesthetics or ( special form) beauty
  • The removal of overgrown parts
  • Pruning Stimulates new growth
  • To let more light into the lower growth
  • To prepare  in the event there is a storm

When is the Best Time to Start Pruning

The best time to carry out pruning procedures is late winter or early spring when garden plants are waking up from their winter nap and begin to put out new growth or grow rapidly.

Different Pruning Procedures

Reduction Procedures

The reason for this type of pruning is to trim back trees, shrubs, and ornamental plants to keep their natural form, in the case of trees it’s in preparation for weather conditions or clearing or creating a space between overgrown branches and the powerline.

Topping Procedures

The method is used for the removal of a good portion of the tree’s branches from the top, tree topping is commonly used to train trees that are young to grow in a certain direction.

Raising Procedures

Raising or lifting a tree is a procedure that involves trimming or the removal of branches that are hanging low, the removal of these low branches helps with safety issues and creates more room to park cars, clear away entrances, and for easy flow of pedestrians. The removal of the lower branches will also cause the tree to appear taller.

Thinning Procedures

Thinning involves the removal of branches that are crossing into each other or rubbing, thinning will also allow more light on the inside of a tree or shrub so that the lower sections can grow full and fluffy.

Additional infomation

  • Pruning procedures can be carried out any time of the year when it involves the safety of people and property
  • Ensure that your pruning tools are sharp at all times, a dull pruner will not make a clean cut but will rip the plant causing the plant to take longer to heal and will encourage insects and disease to set in
  • Make sure that the blades of your pruning tools are clean at all times, many diseases are spread simply because of not taking the time to sterilize tool blades
  • A solution of bleach and water will keep your pruning tools nice and disease-free. To make this solution mix about a tablespoon of bleach in half a gallon of water shake the mixture well and add to a 32 oz spray bottle
  • Spray the solution and begin to wipe your pruning tools blade off with a clean piece of cloth in a downward motion, be very careful as you wipe the blades you don’t want to injure your hand. Make sure and get both the top and the bottom of the blades
  • Use a lubricant for example WD40, the blades and the other parts of the tool should be well-oiled for good performance

The final word on should I prune during the fall months

As was discussed there are reasons why we should and why we should not prune during the fall months, it all depends on WHY to prune, this guide will help you to decide as you work in your fall gardens. This time of the year is a great time to work in our gardens because of how the temperatures are cooling down making it comfortable as we carry out our fall garden chores. Remember it’s the WHY to prune that will make your decision easier.


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About the author

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Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.