Fall Pruning


LawnSite Member
The leaves are in the peak of their fall colors in the valley where I live... my question is whether or not it's okay to prune trees and shrubs during the cooler fall season or if it's something that's best to wait to do during the spring when all the new energy is about to be released into the new growth. I'm sure it varies from plant to plant, but I was wondering if there's a general guideline to follow so as to not to damage my trees (maples primarily)or plants. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.


LawnSite Senior Member
For the maples it would be fine now, in spring they might start to ooze sap at the cuts, not harmful but ugly


LawnSite Bronze Member
You hit the nail on the head when you mention the potential for variation in times to prune. The American Horticultural Society puts out a nice book titled 'Pruning and Training' - (ISBN 1-56458-331-7) it doesn't have every plant ever grown, but it has most, with instructions on how to prune, when to prune, what to prune.

Some plants bloom on the current year's wood, others on last year's wood. If you prune some plants in late Fall or early Spring, you guarantee no blooms for that year (sometimes more). Evergreens in general should be pruned at a different time than deciduous plants, and on and on. A guy told me there was on old saying, 'you should prune when the saw is sharp.'

The AHS book says, in general, to prune 'in Winter, when fully dormant; maples bleed sap badly at other times.'

Hope that helps.