When Is It Not a Good Time to Do Shrub Trimming

When Not to Prune

The sap is said to be the lifeblood of any plant, so if you perform tree or shrub trimming when it is coursing through the shrub, which is early spring for most plants, you will be opening a wound. This wound can continue to bleed, which in turn, sucks out the life of a branch or the entire plant. The incessant flow of sap will also be like a beacon, attracting various insects.

The sweet nectar is irresistible to many animals, that includes birds and bears. The need to satisfy their appetite for sweet goodness sometimes destroys a tree or shrub. Insects are also summoned to feed, and they will often carry pathogens that introduce various diseases. When sap begins to dry, it has a tendency to start growing moldy, which, again, opens the door to diseases. Before you make any attempt at trimming, first make a small test cut to find out if sap is still flowing before you commit to a full pruning.

  1. Cherries and plums (Prunus spp. and CVS., Zones 3–9)

  2. Snowbells (Styrax spp. and CVS., Zones 6–9)

  3. Smoke bushes (Cotinus spp. and CVS., Zones 4–9)

  4. Birches (Betula spp. and CVS., Zones 2–9)

  5. Filberts (Corylus spp. and CVS., Zones 3–9)

  6. Hornbeams (Carpinus spp. and CVS., Zones 3–9)

  7. Maples (Acer spp. and CVS., Zones 3–9)

  8. Hop hornbeams (Ostrya spp. and CVS., Zones 5–9)

  9. Silverbells (Halesia spp. and CVS., Zones 5–9)

During excessively cold temperatures

Plants are more brittle in cold temperatures. Messing around with them may cause branches to snap and split unintentionally. It’s minor, but it could impact the look of a plant or create a haven for insects and diseases later. Don’t prune when the temperature falls below 25°F. Stay by the fire and enjoy its warmth instead of heading outside to the garden.

If you would like to make an appointment with a professional shrub trimming service, please don’t hesitate to call Grounds Maintenance Plus, LLC at (203) 410-1605 now if you live in or around the Milford, CT region.