Pruning Trees in the Summer

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

Step 1: Healthy Trimming

Healthy Trimming

Healthy Trimming

Keep trees healthy with pruning. Remove dead and diseased wood first.

©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

When pruning trees, take out stems that are growing toward the center of the tree. Be wary of pruning large branches that will heal slowly.

©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

When pruning, remove any crossing branches to prevent them from rubbing against each other causing wounds.

©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

For summer pruning, prune out weak stems that did not produce flowers or that have few leaves. Rub out shoots forming on the lower trunk.

©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

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

©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

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

©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.

Keep Reading

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 Plant a Tree in Your Garden

Plant trees well and they will pay dividends, providing your yard with color, shade and structure for many years to come.

How to Plant Trees from Containers

Prepare your site by clearing it of weeds and, if you have very sandy or infertile soil, digging in organic matter over a wide area. 

4 Flowering Cherry Trees and How to Plant Them

There's no more spectacular harbinger of spring than an ornamental cherry tree bursting into bloom.

How to Plant a Tree

To give your new tree a good chance for success, follow these simple planting instructions.

How to Grow an Avocado Tree: Guac 'n' Roll

Tips for turning that avocado pit into a thriving avocado tree and your next bowl of guacamole.

How to Plant Container-Grown Trees

Transfer a tree from its container with this step-by-step guide.

Decorate Your Garden With Ornamental Trees

Learn how to choose a tree that will last, and delight, for years.