Your residential or commercial property needs regular tree trimming throughout the year to keep it looking sharp, but it’s not so simple as sending someone in to chop it up every few months!
The tree trimming pros at Gutierrez & Sons have put together this guide on the best time to trim trees in Southern California. Having been in this business since 1982, you can trust us for all your seasonal landscaping tips in the greater Los Angeles area. You can refer to this whenever you’re wondering when to call the landscapers!
Southern California doesn’t have strong seasonal changes, but which tree trimming season you’re in still makes an impact on the life cycle of your tree, especially if it’s non-native. We’ve organized this guide according to times of the year for easy reference. Learn the best time to trim trees in California at Gutierrez & Sons!
Any Time of Year
For some plants and trees, you can start trimming at virtually any time.
- Diseased branches. You don’t want this to spread and kill the tree. While Gutierrez does not treat diseased trees, we are happy to advise and refer you to partners in our community who do.
- Dead or damaged branches. They look unsightly and do no harm if removed.
- Branches growing too close to power lines. In this fire-prone state, the last thing we want our plants to do is create additional fire hazards. Don’t do this yourself: trimming trees by power lines is very dangerous and should only be done by a professional.
When to Trim Trees in Southern California: Only When Necessary
There are several common species of trees in Southern California that need very little trimming. Over-pruning these trees in the wrong tree trimming season can lead to a loss of their buds and flowers for the next season, or damage that won’t heal and could potentially kill the tree.
- Saucer magnolias. These trees don’t heal very well when pruned, especially when buds or bark are damaged. The beautiful blossoms on saucer magnolias are highly susceptible to damage. It’s critical to get a professional to trim these trees, and only when it’s absolutely necessary.
- Palm trees. Even when you think the fronds growing around the base of the tree look unsightly, trimming them back or skinning the trunks can weaken the tree trunk.
- In damp weather. Pruning when it’s humid and moist can introduce diseases, mold, and bacteria. Luckily, the Southern California climate is usually hot and dry, but you should still be aware of the damage trimming can do in damp weather.
It’s important to research your specific type of tree before pruning. If you’re still not sure of the best time to trim your tree in California after doing your research, you can always contact us for a free estimate so we can help you out ourselves.
For flowering trees, the best time to prune them is immediately after they finish flowering, which is usually the end of spring.
Note: If your tree has a late-blooming season in summer or fall, refrain from trimming then as winter could kill the regrowth. Then, the best time to trim trees in Southern California that bloom in summer or fall is in late winter.
The best time to trim a common Los Angeles tree, the Arizona Ash, is in late February. Getting rid of dead or dying branches as well as cross branches in this season will prevent the tree from weakening later in its life.
California Box Elders are a common tree you’ll see in the Los Angeles area. They have their best tree trimming season in summer. Be careful not to over-prune Box Elders, and make sure you refrain from pruning them in the winter. A variegated Box Elder needs to be trimmed more often than most other trees so it doesn’t lose its variegation and revert to its green state.
Summer is also the best time to remove dead tree branches because they’ll stand out most against the bright living branches.
Autumn is usually not the best time to trim trees in California or in most other places, especially if those trees are deciduous. When you prune trees and shrubs, you stimulate the plant into a fresh new cycle of regrowth. Trimming and pruning in fall means that you could lead the new growth to happen in winter, and the cold might kill the new branches.
In a nutshell, pruning in autumn means that you run the risk of killing new growth. Autumn has also been theorized to be a poor tree trimming season because many wood-decaying fungi sporulate in the fall.
If you want the tree you’re trimming to burst with fresh new regrowth in spring, the best time to trim trees in Southern California is in late winter. This allows for your tree to burst into life come spring, so you can have a good bounty of fruit or beautiful blossoms come the next season.
There are many benefits to pruning deciduous trees in winter, notably that it’s easiest to see what you’re doing when the leaves have fallen and there are no leaves or blossoms. Branches are much easier to see and hack into when they’re dormant, so you’re less likely to make an error.
However, this is not the case for every tree. Some trees, especially birches and maples, bleed a lot of sap if pruned in late winter. This does not harm the tree, but it can be avoided by trimming when they’re leafy in spring and summer.
Work With Gutierrez & Sons For All Your Tree Service Needs
Landscaping is both a science and an art. For tricky trimming and professional landscaping, it’s best to leave tree trimming in Los Angeles county to the experts. There are an enormous amount of factors that determine what makes the best time to trim trees in California, but the fully licensed services at Gutierrez & Sons are guaranteed to get any tough job done right.
See what’s made our family business thrive since 1982. Contact us today for a free estimate.