When Should I Prune Trees On My Texas Landscape?

Ben Collinsworth

You notice the trees on your commercial property are getting a little tall and unruly. They probably need to be pruned, but is now the right time to do that?

To get the most from pruning — and keep your plants healthy — here’s when and why you should prune trees on your Texas landscape.

Why Pruning is Important

Pruning ShearsPruning is an important part of tree maintenance and can really benefit the plant.

It helps train the tree how to grow, maintains plant health, restricts growth where needed and improves the quality of flowers, foliage and stems, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

Beyond plant health benefits, pruning your trees can also help spruce up your property. It will make the area look better maintained and also help prevent visibility issues caused by overgrown branches.

Start Before You See Growth

You probably won’t kill a tree if you prune it at the wrong time once or twice. But, continually trimming back a tree can damage it.

So, it’s important you know what time of year is best.

Trees need to be pruned during late winter or early spring. You want to trim them before they have time to sprout new growth. Trees’ growth schedules can vary for different varieties, so make sure you plan accordingly.


When Not to Prune

Tree in every seasonThe worst time to prune a tree is right after the new growth develops in the spring, according to the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension.

The plant needs the food that’s stored in the new growth to thrive, and taking that away can cause some serious issues for the tree, like causing it to be dwarfed sized.

You should also avoid pruning in late summer because some plants will also have new growth during that time of the year. The new growth needs time to harden before cooler weather arrives. By pruning during this time, the tree might not have enough time and experience cold damage or winter kill.

Exceptions to the Rules

Sticking to these guidelines will help ensure your trees are healthy. But, there are times when you should break the rules.

If the tree has dead limbs or becomes damaged (like from a storm), you’ll need to prune the tree to prevent disease and insects — which can enter the tree from exposed bark. You want to address these problems as quickly as possible.

Newly installed trees should also be pruned when they are added to the landscape, no matter the time of year. That will help teach the plant how to grow and promote health.

Keep Your Property’s Trees Healthy

young tree

Did you know trees never heal? They can only seal the areas that have been pruned. And if they are cut incorrectly, it can lead to irreversible damage. So, when it comes time to prune your trees, make sure you choose a commercial landscaping company that knows exactly what they are doing.

At Native Land Design, we know when and how to properly prune trees, and we have years of experience doing just that.

We also focus on safety when pruning — or any other job — and wear safety equipment. We make sure each job is done to our high standards.

Native Land Design is a commercial maintenance landscape company located in Houston, Austin and McAllen that offers a full list of services like landscape design, construction, enhancements, maintenance and irrigation.

Now is the perfect time to start pruning and enhancing your Texas landscape.

Contact Native Land Design to see how we can help!


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Ben Collinsworth


Before Ben founded Native Land Design in 2001, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Horticulture and Landscape Architecture from Texas A&M University. He’s an active member of ASLA, HBA of Austin, NHBA, PLANET, and BOMA. Ben, his wife and their three children reside in the Cedar Park area.

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Native Land Design has reliably been servicing The Domain (Austin, TX) for four years and continue to be attentive and thorough in their care. We are extremely appreciative of their efforts and hope to have a long lasting relationship. We would recommend them to anyone looking for a solid commercial landscaping contractor.

Melissa Kreutner, Property Manager, Endeavor Real Estate Group