Minnesota Tree and Shrub Pruning Guide

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Minnesota Tree and Shrub Pruning Guide

Posted by All Metro Service Companies LLC
3 years ago | April 12, 2021

Pruning trees and shrubs mean selectively removing branches to keep the tree or shrub healthy and look pleasing. Removing out the dead and dying branches, or ones infested with pests or disease, keep the problem from getting worse. Trimming off branches that pose a safety risk keeps people and buildings, such as your house, from getting hurt. These types of pruning can be done at any time of the year. Other pruning should be done in the correct season to avoid injuring your trees and shrubs. Our tree and shrub pruning guide is designed to help you know the ‘why and when’ to pruning. 

Reasons to Prune Trees and Shrubs

There are four general reasons to prune a tree or shrub.

  • Corrective pruning
  • Thinning trees or shrubs
  • Dormant pruning
  • Shrub trimming

Corrective pruning is done when a tree or shrub begins to grow in a way that endangers itself or buildings near it. This includes cutting down diseased or broken branches and taking out branches that rub against another branch. Branches that are too close to structures are similarly cut down. You should cut branches down at the tree collar as stubs can allow diseases to enter the tree or shrub.

Thinning trees and shrubs is done to open up the center to light and air circulation. This helps prevent diseases by making the plants strong. Thinning is something of an art. Every cut should improve life for that tree or shrub. The wrong cut can permanently maim the plant. It also leaves the tree or shrub open to infection.

Dormant pruning is the time to perform routine maintenance on your tree. Cutting branches that are growing down, suckers, or other problems causes the tree or shrub to grow a burst of new growth. It also makes the tree or shrub look nice. If a shrub has grown over a sidewalk or walkway, now is the time to cut it back.

Shrub trimming is removing the new growth from a shrub, such as trimming a hedge or topiary. This is usually done with hedge trimmers that trim a lot of the hedge at once.


Deciduous Tree Pruning Guide

Deciduous trees, or trees that lose their leaves at least once each year, should be pruned in late winter or early spring. Pruning stimulates new growth. If you prune in the fall or early winter, the tree will put on new growth that is not hardened off, so it dies or is damaged by the winter storms and cold. That can allow disease or pests to enter the tree and damage it further. Ideally, you prune just before the new growth comes out.

There is an exception to this. Trees that come out early in the spring and flower should not be pruned until after they bloom. These trees are blooming on old wood. The buds for that blooming are formed in late spring or early summer. If you prune them before they flower, you are cutting off the next year’s blooms. Examples of these trees and shrubs are flowing cherry and lilac.


Evergreen Tree Pruning Guide

Most evergreen trees or shrubs do not need pruning unless something happens to them. This could be winter burn or some other injury, or a dead branch. Most conifers and some broadleaf evergreens such as holly need to be pruned in the early spring before the spring growth starts to appear.


Flowering Shrub Pruning Guide

Flowering shrubs that bloom on new wood should be pruned in early spring just as the new growth starts. Shrubs that bloom on old wood should be pruned just after blooming. Perennials that have canes and are older and not producing as well need to be cut down to the ground to reinvigorate the plant. They won’t bloom that season but will burst forth and grow so their blooms are better the next


We Can Prune Your Trees and Shrubs

Pruning a tree or shrub is complicated. You want to prune properly, but it is hard to remember when to trim a tree or shrub. Throw in the various types of pruning and you end up afraid to prune your tree or shrub because you think you may do irreparable damage to them –  All Metro Tree Care can help with that!

We have an experienced, ISA-certified arborist to determine the best timing and type of pruning for your trees and shrubs. Our licensed, well-trained crews can tackle pruning even the biggest of trees. We will even come out and give you a free estimate for your job. Contact All Metro Tree Care today at (763) 789-4788 for help caring for your trees and shrubs.

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