Stein Addresses the Question: When Should I Prune a Flowering Tree?

By Stein Tree
Posted on May 16, 2019

As professional tree care specialists, we get this question often. Annual tree trimming and pruning does offer benefits to trees and shrubs. These benefits include the encouragement of new growth, shape retention, and safe removal of dead branches. Pennsylvania and Delaware residents often want to trim trees and shrubs early in the season so that their landscapes look their best for the season. For many trees and shrubs, early pruning, especially during dormant times, is the best practice. However, the timing to prune a flowering tree is different. Flowering trees really need to wait to be trimmed until after they complete the flowering process.

3 Reasons To Prune a Flowering Tree After Blooming

Some reasons do exist for flowering trees to be pruned early, such as to remove dangerously hanging or dead branches that could cause a safety hazard. However, if possible, we recommend waiting for the blooms to fade.

Maintain the Number of Flowers

Flowering trees develop their flower buds in the year before they bloom. If they are pruned before they flower, the number of blooms will be reduced. For those of us who enjoy the annual sprouting of the pink blossoms of a cherry tree, or the bright white of dogwoods, the more blooms the better!

Promote Pollination

In addition, flowering trees provide for pollination. Pruning them too early will disrupt the process and deprive bees and other pollinating insects of food. This disruption can cause ripples in the entire local ecology.

Energy Production

Trees store up energy during their dormant winter seasons, which they will need because trees expend a great deal of energy to flower. When they are pruned, they also expend energy attempting to heal the injuries caused by the cuts. Thus, a recently trimmed tree expends twice the energy necessary after tree trimming than a normal tree. If a flowering tree is pruned too early or during flowering, the tree may lack sufficient energy to heal the pruning cuts, especially if they are major ones. In addition, the other demands for the tree’s resources may prevent optimal growth of the tree.

Pennsylvania and Delaware Residents Trust Stein Tree Service for Tree Care Needs

The specialists at Stein care very much about the health of our trees. We offer free consultations and determine the best course of action to take care of local landscapes. Whether that care involves simple tree trimming and pruning, treatment for insect infestation, or even tree removal, we have the experience and tools for the job. We are also certified to perform tree care in areas of spotted lanternfly quarantineContact us today for a consultation.


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