The Importance of Pruning Young Trees

When it comes to tree maintenance, people often think that pruning is only for aesthetics. However, it serves a much more important purpose. Pruning young trees is an essential practice that helps keep your trees healthy and encourages a strong structure as they mature. Each pruning cut can change a tree’s growth pattern forever, so it’s essential to prune your trees correctly. It’s also important to factor in the type of tree and its growth habits when determining which pruning technique you should use for young trees. Some trees require more intense pruning, while others may only need light pruning to shape their growth, which is why it’s handy to contact a professional arborist before pruning young trees.
young tree

Why Prune Your Trees

One of the main reasons to prune young trees is structural pruning. Structural pruning aims to develop more stable trees that live longer and therefore lower the risk the tree will fall over or cause damage as it matures. Growth defects usually develop at an early age and become worse as a tree grows. It’s important to prioritise structural pruning while the tree is still young because it helps to correct any problems before they become too severe. This is usually done by making small cuts while the tree is young, which creates less damage than pruning larger branches once the tree matures. Once a tree has grown and is more mature, heavy corrective pruning can cause severe stress to your tree. In addition to structural pruning, the following tasks are also important when it comes to pruning young trees:
  • Removing broken, dead, dying, or diseased branches.
  • Creating clearance for vehicles or pedestrians.
  • Thinning large, heavy branches.
Getting in touch with an arborist will help you determine when, how often and how to best prune your young trees.
prune young tree

Benefits of Pruning Young Trees

Pruning is also a great way to ensure that your tree has adequate air circulation within its canopy. This helps to promote healthy growth and reduces the chance of disease and pests.

You should only prune newly planted trees to remove broken, dead, dying or diseased branches. Young trees should be structurally pruned once established in the ground, which usually takes three to five years after planting.

The tree’s leaves are essential for its health because they create the energy your tree lives off. Therefore, when pruning a young tree, no more than a quarter of the tree canopy should be removed in any one year. Pruning any more of the canopy than this can reduce the tree’s ability to produce its own food, which can cause stress, lower growth, and potentially lead to your tree dying.

When to Prune Young Trees

Generally, the best time to prune young trees is in late autumn, throughout the winter or early spring. Pruning during this time has several benefits, including:

  • cooler temperatures that limit the spread of disease
  • giving trees a head start on healing wounds before spring growth begins
  • making structural pruning decisions is more manageable when branches are visible without leaves and,
  • pruning before animals begin to raise their young decreases the possibility of upsetting local wildlife.
prune young trees
Pruning can impact your tree long-term and is essential for maintaining healthy trees and promoting strong growth patterns, so ensuring it’s done correctly is vital. Because pruning requires skill and knowledge, speaking to a certified arborist before making your first cut is necessary. Arborists can help determine the best plan for your tree and ensure that the pruning is done safely and effectively. If you need professional help to determine the best plan of action for pruning your young trees, get in touch with Apex Arborists today. We will help you develop a plan that will maintain your tree’s health and encourage a strong structure as your trees mature.
Picture of Dylan Heath

Dylan Heath

Dylan Heath is a fully qualified arborist with over 13 years of experience working in both the private and local council sectors. He comes with a wealth of knowledge, skill and passion for arboriculture.