Tree pruning is not only an essential part of maintaining the health and beauty of trees but also an art that requires careful consideration and expertise. Pruning trees can promote growth and improve their shape and structure. However, not all trees need pruning, and improper pruning can harm trees and make them more susceptible to diseases and pests. So, what trees should you prune? This article will discuss which trees you should prune and when.

Fruit Trees

Fruit trees, such as apple, pear, and peach trees, require regular pruning to bear fruit and maintain their health. Pruning fruit trees in the dormant season, preferably in late winter, promotes new growth and fruit production. You should remove any dead, diseased, or damaged branches and any that are crossing or rubbing against each other. Also, prune the upper portions of the tree to keep the fruit within reach and improve sunlight penetration to the lower branches.

Ornamental Trees

Ornamental trees, such as dogwoods, magnolias, and Japanese maples, are grown for their attractive foliage, flowers, or form. To maintain their beauty and health, you should prune them selectively and infrequently. Remove any dead, diseased, or broken branches and those that obscure the tree's form or block the view. Avoid heavy pruning or topping, as it can ruin the tree's shape and expose it to infections and pests.


Conifers, such as pine, spruce, and fir trees, require little pruning except for removing dead or broken branches. Pruning conifers in the wrong season or too much can damage their buds and growth, making them more vulnerable to diseases and insects. Avoid pruning the lower branches of conifers, as they keep the tree balanced and protect the trunk from sunscald and rodents.

Shade Trees

Shade trees, such as oak, maple, and elm trees, provide shade and beauty to landscapes. However, they can also become hazardous if not pruned regularly and properly. Large limbs or branches that are dead, diseased, or decayed can fall and cause damage to property or people. Pruning shade trees should be done in the dormant season or late spring, depending on the tree species, to minimize stress and promote new growth. Avoid over-pruning or removing too much foliage, as it can weaken the tree and make it less resilient to storms and pests.


Evergreens, such as cedars, junipers, and yews, retain their leaves or needles throughout the year, providing privacy and beauty to gardens. Pruning evergreens involves removing dead or diseased branches and maintaining their desired shape and size. You should avoid pruning more than one-third of the foliage or cutting back to the bare wood, as it can cause irreparable damage to the tree.

Tree pruning is a necessary task to keep your trees healthy, safe, and beautiful. Knowing what trees to prune and when can save you time, money, and headaches. Always consult a certified arborist if you are unsure about how to prune your trees or if your trees require pruning. A professional arborist has the knowledge, experience, and tools to assess your trees' health, identify any potential problems, and provide appropriate pruning techniques. With proper pruning, your trees can thrive and enhance your property's aesthetic and environmental value.

Contact a local company to learn more about tree pruning.