Its that time of year again. The vascular systems of your trees are slowing down and now is the time to do major trimming/pruning. It is much safer to trim this time of year when the trees are going dormant. In North Texas, it is ok to do minor trimming all year long, but now, in the winter is the time to do the more heavy trimming and reshaping of your trees.
During the early spring is the second best time to trim, but please do all of your major trimming before temperatures rise above 80-85 degrees. Once temperatures get above 80-85 degrees, it is best to only do minor trimming. It is tempting to do all of the heavy trimming in the spring and summer because that is when the trees get the most attention because they are growing all over the place and you want to get them under control. However, please try to resist that temptation and plan ahead for spring and summer by doing your tree trimming in the winter and early spring to prevent the multitude of tree problems that we see every year in the Metroplex.
North Texas trees are already under enough stress in the summer months trying to keep cool and fully hydrated. Heavy trimming during this time is not a good practice. Once again, it is OK to trim a little bit all year round. It is not only ok, but is necessary when the trees are out of control and hanging to low over everything.
The rule of thumb is simple; when the temperature is below 80-85 degrees, trim away. When the temperatures are above 80-85 degrees, please only do minor trimming and thinning.
When it comes to removing dead wood from a tree, it is safe to perform this any time of year and in any weather. It is good to rid your trees of deadwood as soon as possible to prevent insect infestations.
*Lastly, there are several species of trees in Texas that are so resilient that they can withstand heavy trimming at pretty much any time of the year. It is best practice to consult with your local arborist and have him/her prepare and trimming schedule for your particular species.
Gary Zimmerman / Certified Arborist / Dallas-Ft. Worth Service Area
Tree Masters Tree Service