When Is the Best Time To Trim Trees?

When is the best time to trim trees? If you keep eyeballing that overgrown specimen in your backyard, wondering when to give it a good prune, you’re in the right place.

As the go-to tree service in Louisville, KY, our crew at New Leaf Tree Service knows a thing or two about this essential practice. Keep reading as we break down the nitty-gritty details so you can make informed decisions for your living landscape.

when is the best time to trim trees

When in Doubt, Do It in Winter Months!

Are you wondering, “When is the best time to trim trees?” The cold days between November through March often make the perfect window for a tree trim. Here’s why:

  • Improved visibility: Most varieties shed their leaves in the autumn, leaving unobstructed views of the tree’s structure. This helps you spot deadwood, diseased limbs, or any structural issues that need addressing.
  • Faster recovery: Trees close their wounds much faster before their spring growth spurt, reducing the risk of catching an unwanted ailment.
  • Fewer hazards: Pests and disease-causing microorganisms are also typically less active during the winter.

Exceptions to the Rule

Tree care is never a one-size-fits-all business! The best time to trim trees can vary, depending on your specific situation.

Young or Freshly Planted Trees

Your backyard’s new arrivals need different care, as trimming them immediately might stunt their growth. Let them grow wild for a year, outside of addressing issues like:

  • Double leaders, or two competing lead branches
  • Dead branches
  • Crossing branches
  • Broken branches

Subtropical Trees

If you live in the southern part of Kentucky and have subtropical varieties like palms in your yard, they march to a different beat. You can prune these sun-loving trees practically any time of the year.

Flowering Trees

Flowering trees add a dash of color and charm to any landscape. For those that bloom in spring, prune them once their colorful display has faded. If they flower in mid to late summer or fall, a winter or early spring session will ensure a brilliant performance.


Safety always takes precedence. If your specimen becomes a potential risk, don’t wait for the winter. Dangling branches from storms, dead limbs that could fall at any time, or trees encroaching on power lines are serious concerns that demand immediate action.

Why Prune Trees in the First Place?

Strategic tree pruning brings many worthwhile advantages that should convince you to make it a part of your gardening routine:

  • Boost vigor: Removing dead, dying, or problematic limbs encourages the tree to focus its resources on new, healthy growth. It’s like giving your tree the green light to flourish and thrive!
  • Improve fruit production: Pruning creates a more open canopy that allows for better sunlight penetration and air circulation. In fruit-bearing trees, this can help increase the quality and quantity of the crop.
  • Better shape: Does your tree look like a prop from a horror movie? The right cuts can help you transform it from an unruly mess into a tidy, aesthetically pleasing focal point in your yard.
  • Tackle ailments: Some diseases and pests can spread quickly through a tree if left unchecked. Removing affected branches combined with appropriate treatments can prevent these issues from taking over. 

Consult a Certified Arborist

Knowing the answer to, “When is the best time to trim trees?” isn’t enough; you also need the right techniques and tools to do it properly. That’s where New Leaf Tree Service comes into the picture. Dial (502) 419-9899 today and give your specimens the care they deserve.

Visit the rest of our blog, where we answer other concerns like, “Can a tree grow back from stump parts?” We always aim to help you deepen your understanding of tree maintenance!

Are trees on your property dying, falling down, or causing you concern? We are ready to hear from you! If you have dying trees, ugly stumps, or just need your landscape cleaned up from fallen debris, reach out today.

Contact Us

4124 Bishop Ln 103
Louisville , Ky 40218

(502) 419-9899