It’s important to have an annual plan for caring for your trees and keeping them healthy and vibrant. In addition to watering and fertilizing your trees if needed and treating them against harmful insects, trimming and pruning is an important part of your tree care routine. 

Gaston’s Tree Service has served north central Florida trees for almost 50 years. Read on for our top tips for year-long tree care. 

1. Trim and Prune

Trimming and pruning your trees helps support their healthy growth, allowing nutrients to make their way to the healthy parts rather than being wasted on dead or dying limbs and branches. 

Thin the Canopy

Thinning your tree canopies allows the upper branches access to sunlight, movement, and airflow. An easy way to tell if your trees need to be trimmed is if you look up and don’t see any sky through the leaves. 

Remove Extra Trunks

Having multiple trunks harms your trees as they age, so the extra trunk should be removed while the tree is young by a certified arborist. This encourages your main trunk’s healthy growth and also helps avoid the tree trunks splitting during a tropical storm or hurricane. 

Trim the Branches

Trimming your trees’ vertical branches does more than make them look better — it also helps strengthen them. Upright branches are not as securely attached to the tree as horizontal branches at a 45° orientation. Another benefit of trimming these vertical branches is that they can become double leaders prone to breaking in powerful storms, so it’s wise to remove them before that happens. 

2. The Ideal Trimming Time

There is no one ideal time to trim your trees but rather depends on the species, age, growth pattern, growing conditions, and health. The exception to this is if you notice that your tree is dead or dying, in which case you should have it removed as soon as possible. 

Deciduous Trees

Pruning your deciduous trees helps promote tree growth, reduce fruit thinking, and adjust crop load. You can begin to prune deciduous trees annually once they’ve reached maturity, with the best time being late winter or early spring before they produce leaves. 

Flowering Trees

You should wait to trim flowering trees until the spring blooms have died because these tree blooms happen on the previous year’s growth. Instead, you can prune these trees in winter. 

Foliage Trees

If you’re trimming in order to keep your foliage trees from growing, schedule your trimming for after their initial growth spurt in the spring. Trees use a lot of their resources to support that initial spring growth burst and therefore are stressed immediately following. Trimming too close to the spring growth puts avoidable extra stress on your trees. 

Fruit Trees 

Fruit trees should be pruned at their maturity — usually around 3 years of age — at least once a year to enhance fruit production. Pruning should happen when these trees are dormant in late winter and early spring. 

Palm Trees

Palm Trees are low-maintenance and don’t generally require pruning except if you observe the following. 

  1. Brown fronds
  2. Seeds during hurricane season
  3. Fruit
  4. Flowers

Palm shouldn’t be pruned during fall or winter, so spring makes a great time. 

3. Avoid Sap Drip

Certain tree species experience heavy sap flow during the early spring. The sap can travel down the tree if you try to trim or prune these too early during the heavy sap flow period. You can avoid this by trimming these trees during late spring or early summer. 

Sap Dripping Trees include the following.

  • Avocado
  • Birch
  • Cottonwood
  • Elm
  • Flowering dogwood
  • Magnolia
  • Maple
  • Poplar
  • Walnut
  • Willow

Gaston’s Tree Service Keeps Your Yard in Tip-Top Shape

To keep your trees healthy throughout the year, trust the team of certified arborists at Gaston’s Tree Service. We offer tree trimming, tree and tree debris removal, stump removal, and emergency tree service for Gainesville and the surrounding north-central Florida communities. Don’t leave your trees unattended this season. Contact Gaston’s today to set up an appointment to learn how we can help you have your most beautiful yard yet.