Outdoor Spring Cleaning: How and when to prune trees and shrubs

March is here and you know what that means! It's time for spring cleaning. Now that the winter weather is fading away and the forecast is looking sunny, you might as well start your spring cleaning outdoors. Save that closet cleaning for later!

March is the best time to prune all of your trees and shrubs except those that are spring blooming. So skip the azaleas, cherry trees, quince, forsythia, pear trees and other spring bloomers and get those pruning shears out for all of your other trees and shrubs. 

Here's how:

  • Do you see where the trunk meets the branch? This is called the collar. Cut just above this area on your tree branches at a 45 degree angle.


  • Begin with your tree's branch stubs (1) And damaged branches.


  • Does your tree have a few of those funny-looking branches that shoot straight upwards? These are water sprouts (3). They can take excess energy from your tree, so these should be pruned out.

  • Now, check out the bottom of your tree. Do you notice any suckers (4)? These are branches that shoot up beside the trunk. Prune these to keep your tree looking nice and clean.


  • Take a step back. Do you notice any closely spaced branches (5)? Prune these branches so that they're not so close together to promote even growth and appearance.


  • Last but not least, you'll want to look for weakness. Branches with a narrow angle between the branch and the tree (6) are generally weak and should be clipped.

Still have questions? Make a visit to see us or fine out more about our landscaping services here. We can save you the trouble of doing it yourself!