Skip to main content

Logo for N.C. Cooperative Extension N.C. Cooperative Extension Homepage

What to Prune and When to Prune

en Español

El inglés es el idioma de control de esta página. En la medida en que haya algún conflicto entre la traducción al inglés y la traducción, el inglés prevalece.

Al hacer clic en el enlace de traducción se activa un servicio de traducción gratuito para convertir la página al español. Al igual que con cualquier traducción por Internet, la conversión no es sensible al contexto y puede que no traduzca el texto en su significado original. NC State Extension no garantiza la exactitud del texto traducido. Por favor, tenga en cuenta que algunas aplicaciones y/o servicios pueden no funcionar como se espera cuando se traducen.

English is the controlling language of this page. To the extent there is any conflict between the English text and the translation, English controls.

Clicking on the translation link activates a free translation service to convert the page to Spanish. As with any Internet translation, the conversion is not context-sensitive and may not translate the text to its original meaning. NC State Extension does not guarantee the accuracy of the translated text. Please note that some applications and/or services may not function as expected when translated.

Collapse ▲

Date: October 29, 2020
Agent: Donna Teasley
Hello, this is Donna Teasley, Horticulture Agent with the North Carolina Cooperative
Extension, Burke Center.

I always get a lot of pruning questions during the fall so today we’re going to talk about what to prune and when to prune. First let’s talk about what to prune now. Most plants should no tbe pruned this late in the season. The only things that can be safely pruned now are bleeder trees such as maple, birch, dogwood or elm. These trees bleed a lot at certain times of the year when sap is high so waiting until the fall prevents excessive loss of sap. But all other trees and shrubs should be left alone! Pruning encourages new growth and in the event of an early freeze, tender new growth could be killed.

A good rule of thumb is that trees and shrubs that bloom early such as redbud and azalea should be pruned as soon as flowering is over and trees and shrubs that bloom in the summer such as crape myrtle and butterfly bush should be pruned early in January and February. Most evergreens should be pruned in early spring just before new growth starts. Most shade trees are best pruned in the winter. Any trees that are susceptible to Fire Blight should be pruned in the winter so that wounds are healed before spring growth starts.

If you would like a pruning calendar to remind you when your trees and shrubs should be pruned, call our office and we’ll be happy to mail one out to you.
This Donna Teasley with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Burke Center. If you would like more information about this program, you can call us at 764-9480.