Your Tree Pruning Guide for Michigan (Time of Year & Type of Tree)

April 14, 2023

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Michigan homeowners often wonder when to prune a tree on their property. It’s vital that you understand this, as improper pruning can wound and outright kill a tree. On the other hand, effective pruning encourages tree growth and ensures a safe property.

Before you buy a saw and just start hacking at a tree on your property, keep reading! Proper tree pruning in Michigan depends on the tree species and a few other important factors. Check out those details here so you ensure safe tree pruning on your property.

When to Prune an Oak Tree

Oak trees are a favorite in Michigan, offering shade and a stunning view. They also provide a nesting place for birds and other wildlife. However, wilt is most prominent during spring and summer months.

It’s best to trim an oak tree in Michigan between November 1 and March 31. Also, many arborists recommend you paint or dress the cut branches with specialty herbicides. These materials protect cut branches from insect infestation and other damage.

when to prune a tree in michigan

When to Prune a Birch Tree

Birch trees are prized for their stunning white trunks and smaller size. For proper pruning, avoid cutting birch trees in spring. Sap and fluid run through their branches during this time. Consequently, you might trim a birch tree between mid-summer and fall months. You’ll see less sap dripping from the tree, for a neater property overall.

When to Prune a Pine Tree

Michiganders love pine trees for their hearty nature and lovely aroma. Pines also offer some greenery year-round for a less stark look to your property. Pine trees are also a favorite choice for Christmas! They often set a festive tone during winter, especially when coated with snow.

To ensure good health, trim your pine tree in late winter to early spring. This is when branches are coming out of their dormant season. The only exception is if diseased or broken branches need immediate trimming! Heavy pine branches can snap and risk injury or property damage. Consequently, trim any dangerous branch whenever needed no matter the season.

When to Prune a Walnut Tree

Black walnut trees provide excellent shade for any property. Walnut trees are also hearty and strong and live for decades. Additionally, the tree’s fruit is edible and makes a healthy snack or sweet treat.

To prevent damage to a walnut tree, trim it during its dormant season of January through March. After trimming, you might notice some sap dripping from the tree. This is not dangerous and doesn’t indicate that you’ve wounded the tree!

When to Prune Maple Trees

No doubt many property owners love maple trees for their rich fall colors. Maple syrup, made from the tree’s sap, is also a staple on many breakfast tables! However, maple trees need maintenance and pruning for healthy growth.

To ensure a strong tree, trim maple trees during summer months. Warm weather keeps sap from flowing freely so it won’t drip out of open wounds. This also allows the branch to stay strong and recover before it blooms again in springtime.

pruning a maple tree

How to Prune a Tree Properly

Improper pruning and trimming can wound trees, risking long-term damage. Consequently, you might note some tips on how to prune a tree properly. First, ensure a safe cutting area; keep children and pets away as you work. Second, evaluate the tree thoroughly, to note what needs trimming.

Start by cutting off any diseased, damaged, or outright dead branches. You’ll also want to remove branches that rub together. These branches wound each other over the years, so they’ll need eventual removing anyway!

As you prune branches, cut them at an angle. This keeps the branch strong so it can regrow more readily. Also, after every few cuts, step back and check the tree. Avoid cutting too many branches on one side so it doesn’t appear lopsided. Remove fallen branches regularly so you keep your workspace safe.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to stop trimming and call a professional if the job seems overwhelming. Expert services ensure safe trimming while protecting a tree’s health overall. An arborist can also spot signs of disease, infestation, wounding, and other issues that need addressing.

Ann Arbor Tree Trimming & Removal Service is happy to help answer the question of when to prune a tree in Michigan. Hopefully we’ve provided some useful tips for your property! Also, if you’re in the area, call our Ann Arbor tree services contractors for trimming, removal, and more. Our expert team ensures quality services at affordable prices. For more information, contact us today.


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