The best advice: don't prune in the fall.
Unless you have dead branches. Or there are branches that may become a hazard in the winter. Most experts say you shouldn’t prune anything at all in the fall. The choice is up to you.
Your trees focus their energy on their roots during the colder seasons. So, any cuts from pruning won’t heal in time. Open cuts can leave your tree vulnerable, which may lead to months of struggling.
Pruning is also a way to encourage growth. Your tree isn’t trying to grow in the fall, it is trying to hunker down. Thus, pruning will weaken the plant. It is best to wait to prune until the dormant season next spring.
What about my plants?
There are some plants that can’t handle winter weather well, and they can be cut back. This applies to some late-blooming too. Here is a fabulous list of what plants you can prune in the fall.
Stick to raking and mulching this fall.
Don’t worry, there are still things you can do this fall. Raking and mulching are perfect fall lawn activities. Mulch will protect your plants during the cold months and provide nutrients to the roots. There are many different things you can use for mulch, like straw or shredded leaves.
Leaving a layer of leaves on your lawn may suffocate your grass or create a breeding ground for diseases. Thus, you need to do some raking. You can mow over your leaves in the early fall to provide nutrients to your lawn. Leaves are great to recycle into a compost too.
Water your trees
Watering your trees in the fall helps them prepare for the winter. When winter hits, trees struggle to get water from the frozen ground. Give your trees a deep watering after the leaves have fallen and before the ground freezes. Evergreen trees especially need this deep watering.
Prune in the spring
When it is time to prune, remember these pruning basics.
Never prune when it is damp or wet out. The dampness can encourage bacteria to grow.
Make sure to cut between sickly branches and the body of the tree.
When taking complete branches off try to get as close to the main stem and cut at the same angle as the branch collar.
Keep your t clean to prevent spreading diseases.ools
Your trees will thank you by being healthy in the spring. Then you can prune like crazy!