Pruning Trees and Shrubs: When Is the Best Time?

Pruning Trees and Shrubs: When Is the Best Time?

  • 11/28/2016

One of the most common questions when it comes to pruning trees and shrubs is when is the best time to do it. Well, the best answer to this question is when you start to see disease, damaged or dead stems, as these need to removed the moment that you notice them. Otherwise, they will begin to catch the attention of insects and unnecessarily invite diseases to develop and grow. Aside from that, here are some tips for a few specific species of trees and shrubs:

Crape Myrtles

Crape myrtle is a summer-blooming tree that is a very colorful addition to any yard. It has the ability to produce flowers on new growth in the current season. So, you should prune these trees while they are dormant, which means during the winter or possibly even in the early spring right before they bloom. Believe it or not, you can cut crape myrtles to the ground and they can bloom that very summer.


The majority of hydrangeas (blue, pink and white lacecaps and mopheads as well as oakleaf varieties) will bloom on old wood, and these need to be pruned prior to mid-summer. If you wait until winter or even early spring, then you will be cutting off flower buds. If you have a newer form of hydrangea that reblooms, such as the Let’s Dance or the Endless Summer Series, then the plant will likely bloom even on the new growth even if you cut off the flower bud from the old stem.


For traditional garden roses and climbing roses that bloom once annually, they should be pruned once they’re finished blooming – just like any other spring-blooming shrub. For repeat bloomers, such as miniatures, hybrid teas and modern rose shrubs, you will only prune to remove any winter damage or for shape. If the plant is overgrown, try to perform this cutting during the early spring.