Best Time to Prune 5 Common Midwest Trees

Why do you need to prune your trees? Pruning trees does far more than just make your trees look neat -it helps to keep them healthy, safe, and prosperous. When pruned correctly, trees will grow stronger and taller, taking on the natural shape that helps them to live healthy lives. Your trees are an important part of your yard, and you need to take care of them regularly to ensure they stay that way. However, pruning isn’t something you can just do whenever the mood strikes you.

However, pruning isn’t something you can just do whenever the mood strikes you. It should be something that is meticulously planned. Each tree will have a specific time when pruning is the most advantageous. Let’s break down the time to prune some of the most popular trees to plant in Missouri:

Tree trimming equipment

1. Eastern Wahoo: Late Winter or Early Spring
When left on its own, the Eastern Wahoo can easily grow to an enormous size and scope. While this may be beautiful, it can result in a degradation of the quality of the shrub. Per the Gardening Channel, the fruit is toxic to humans, so you do have to be careful about touching the juices and do not eat the berries. It isn’t a good idea to feed the berries to your pets either – keep them on the ground for the birds to enjoy.

Pruning in the late winter or early spring guarantees that your Eastern Wahoo will produce many flowers and will be brilliant against the spring backdrop. Renewal pruning is important for all flowering shrubs, but increasingly important for this one, especially after a harsh winter.

2. Possum Haw: Late Winter

Pruning the possum haw tree in the late winter gives it ample time to show off its winter coloring. It is especially important to prune smaller trees because it keeps them growing stronger and together, instead of spreading outwards. It can even enhance a smaller shrub, turning it into a small tree. This is one of the trees where you may need special equipment because of how gentle you do have to be with the healthiest parts of the tree.

While most people prune this tree in the late winter, Fine Gardening warns that you have to think about any sudden temperature drops that can occur. Frost or extreme cold will kill off the new growth that comes as a result of pruning.

Pruning a possum haw tree requires attention to detail and a full inspection, from root to tip. You do have to be judicious about which parts to cut and which parts to save, as one wrong cut can cause death. Still, many people prune to control the height and span of this tree, which can become quite large if left natural.

3. Bladdernut Tree: Very Early Spring
The bladdernut tree is very beautiful, but there is a reason why we don’t see it all that often in the wild. When left to its own devices, the tree will grow gangly and spread out, making it weaker and more susceptible to damage. Bladdernut trees are commonly used for mazes and thick gardening, but that only occurs when the tree has been properly pruned. You have to know how to read the tree when you prune, understanding where to cut is half of the battle with this one.

According to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, “In gardens it forms compact, well-branched mounds that can be maintained at any reasonable height by pruning.” You do also have to watch for stems near the base of the tree, because these can actually form into new trees, quickly overcrowding your garden.

4. Ohio Buckeye: Summer
It seems somewhat strange to suggest pruning a tree in the summer when most trees are blooming, but that is the best time to prune an Ohio buckeye. This will keep your tree in good health and allow it to grow taller and wider. Unfortunately, though this tree is incredibly popular, it is one of the hardest trees to prune because there are quite a few steps you need to go through to get it done properly.

If you want a smaller and more ornamental tree, you can prune regularly to help it keep its shape. This often requires a keen eye for details and a few different tools, according to Home Guides.

One other time you can prune your Ohio Buckeye is right after your transplant it into your yard when you will spot some dead leaves. With special care, those can be removed to help the tree adjust to its new location.

5. Hackberry Tree: Fall
While a hackberry tree is a great addition to your yard, we all know one thing about them: they shed dead branches almost regularly, so when should we prune? Well, that’s complicated because you should look for those dead branches all the time so that you can remove them before a storm.

In the first 15 or so years of life, regular pruning is especially important because your tree will still be growing, according to Colorado State University. You want to prune to create a wider tree because this will keep it healthier and more stable. Be extremely careful when pruning because the berries are prone to staining anything they come into contact with during the procedure.

Pruning your trees is critically important, especially if you want your trees to look great and stay healthy. However, you could be doing more damage than good if you prune them without knowing what to do, how to do it, or even what tools to use. If your trees are important to you, you should hire a professional team to handle all pruning. Our team at Go Green Tree & Stump Removal.

Tree Disease Experts

Our team at Go Green Tree & Stump Removal has a long history of working with tree pruning in Missouri, and we understand where to cut the trees, how to cut them, and most importantly, when to keep the tree intact. Our experts will show you what great pruning can do: keep your trees beautiful, healthy, and sturdy for years and years. Give us a call today at (816) 520-4864.