Pruning Trees in the Summer

Trees that bleed sap when cut, such as magnolias, are best pruned in summer.

From: DK Books - Learn to Garden

Step 1: Healthy Trimming

Healthy Trimming

Healthy Trimming

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Dead and diseased wood is quite obvious, so remove this first. Although it is more difficult to see the outline of a tree in leaf, it should be easier once you have removed any unhealthy stems.

Step 2: Remove Center Stems

Pruning Trees

Pruning Trees

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Take out stems that are growing toward the center of the tree. Be wary of pruning large branches that will heal slowly.

Step 3: Untangle Branches

Untangle Branches

Untangle Branches

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Remove any crossing branches to prevent them from rubbing against each other and causing wounds that may result in serious damage, especially in the case of trees that bleed sap.

Step 4: Prune Weak Stems

Prune Weak Stems

Prune Weak Stems

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Prune out weak stems that did not produce flowers or that have few leaves, and rub out shoots forming on the lower trunk.

Step 5: Trim Wayward Stems

Wayward Stems

Wayward Stems

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

Keep the tree in shape by reducing the length of wayward side stems, cutting them back by about one-third.

Step 6: The Result

Open Canopy

Open Canopy

©2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

2008, Dorling Kindersley Limited

The pruned tree has a better shape and a more open canopy, allowing more light into the center, and promoting vigorous stems.

Next Up

Pruning Trees in the Winter

It is easier to assess and prune deciduous trees in winter, when they are leafless.

Tree Pruning: Removing Water Shoots & Suckers

Remove water shoots and suckers from trees as soon as you can, as they divert water and nutrients from the tree if left to grow. 

How to Prune a Tree

Pruning trees doesn't have to be a daunting process. Learn how to safely, quickly and easily prune the trees in your yard.

Basic Pruning Techniques

Regular pruning can improve a plant’s appearance and stimulate the production of fruit and flowers.

Summer Pruning

Pruning isn't just for the dormant season; you can prune during the growing season too.

Pruning an Apple Tree

Learn how to prune your trees correctly using the steps below.

Ideas for Summer Beds and Borders

Say hello to sunny summer days with these colorful flowers and plants.

Summer Gardening Planner

Follow this handy checklist and caring for your garden will be easier, quicker and more satisfying.

How to Prune Shrubs

When you prune a shrub depends mostly on when it blooms. Here are the basics of pruning woody plants.