What is the Best Time to Prune Trees? Winter!

Los Gatos Tree Care Professionals Want to Share This Information About the Best Time to Prune Trees and Why Winter Months Are the Ideal Time for Pruning Trees.

Keeping your trees looking healthy and vibrant is no easy task, especially when the seasons change. However, with the right know-how, it might be the best time to care for them. Trimming your trees is ideal in the winter because it promotes new growth when spring comes. Late winter until early spring is the peak time to maximize the benefits of pruning your trees, shrubs, and plants.

Plants Are Dormant During the Winter

During the winter months new growth halts on trees and other shrubs, which makes this the best time to alter the shape and make adjustments. You should aim to complete pruning before the new growth of spring starts. This is the healthiest thing for the tree and the most effective way to achieve the results you want.

Less Foliage Makes it Easier to See

During the warm months, dense foliage on the trees can make it hard to see what you’re doing. For the most accurate shape and most efficient time pruning, prune trees in the winter when the foliage has died down and leaves have fallen.

Tips & Tricks

Wait Until a Dry Day with Mild Temperature

If the wood is wet it may be more difficult to make clean breaks with your pruning shears. Wait for a warm and dry winter day to prune your plants, with no rain or snow.

Flowering Trees – Wait Until After Bloom

For flowering trees, you will want to wait until after the first bloom of early spring to prune the branches. The bloom will last a week or two, and then it is the ideal time to reshape the tree.

Wait Until the End of Winter

Pruning too early in winter can be bad for the trees because they will dry out during the winter months. Wait until the very end of winter, but before any new growth of spring to do your pruning.

Signs That Your Trees Need Pruning

Dead or Broken Branches

If any of the branches are dead, splintering, or drooping, that is a clear indicator that you need to remove those branches. It is important to remove dead and broken branches right away as they pose a safety hazard when they fall down. If the branch is sick it could also spread to the rest of the tree so the best way to prevent this is by removing the dead branch.

Misshapen Trees

Beyond the aesthetic reasons why it is nice to reshape your trees into an even and symmetrical shape, uneven growth can be bad for the structure of the tree, weakening branches with the uneven distribution of weight. Neatly shapes trees will grow healthier and more beautiful.


Although it may be tempting to allow your trees to grow as large as they want as they are so beautiful, if their foliage is crossing over power lines or reaching over the house, it is a good idea to trim the tree back for safety reasons and to prevent property damage.

Dense Branches w/ Overlapping

You should be able to see through the branches into the tree. If you can not see into the tree, this means that the foliage is too dense. It is bad for the foliage to become too dense because it creates a hazard during storms due to the weight of the branches. If the branches are overlapping with each other this is another clear sign that the tree is too dense and is in need of pruning.

Why You Should Prune Your Trees

If trees branches are dead or broken they may fall and cause property damage, or even worse hit someone on the head and cause a serious accident. Pruning your trees is the responsible thing to do to ensure that there are no safety hazards in your lawn. Trimming the branches while the tree is dormant is also the best way to promote healthy new growth in the springtime for beautiful and full trees that will grow fruitfully to old age.

Arborworks, Inc Tree Services

Arborworks, Inc is proud to provide the Los Gatos, CA area and surrounding communities with comprehensive tree care services. Their team of experienced arborists and tree care specialists will not leave any of your tree care needs unattended.


Anyone who really cares about their trees knows how hard it is to find a good tree trimmer. I’ve used both major name brands, and self employed tree trimmers, and have never been very satisfied, until now. ArborWorks trimmed my trees as carefully as I would have, if I knew how to climb trees!Don McIntyre, owner, responded within two days of my call, and his estimate was fair and thorough. He personally brought the foreman of the crew to my site to go over the job the evening before the crew would actually arrive. Don also visits the site as the work is performed, to make sure everything goes smoothly.If my trees could vocalize, they’d sing about the space created for light to enter the crown, and how good it feels to have the weight off the ends of the limbs. Even neighbors have come by to complement me on how good the trees look. “Best ever”.I only wish I had known about ArborWorks sooner. It took me 32 years to find them. I hope my trees will forgive me for taking so long…
Karen K. Mountain View, CA


Arborworks Inc. Diamond Certified


Gloden Shovel Standard