Q&A: Pruning in the Fall

Pruning is best done in the spring.

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Q. Is it okay to prune trees and shrubs in the fall?

A. Fall is generally one of the worst times to prune. Pruning rejuvenates plants, causing them to produce new growth, which is then susceptible to freeze damage. Plus, pruning in the fall can reduce a plant's overall cold hardiness.

For the most part, it's best to wait till early spring for major pruning. The exception: shrubs that bloom in very early spring should be pruned directly after they finish blooming to avoid losing the bloom period for that year. Shrubs that bloom in late spring or early summer can be pruned in early spring.

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