Your Summer Lawn Maintenance is Done. Now What?


Let us tell you what your next focus is/should be for your lawn maintenance now that your trees and lawn have gone into dormancy.

Now that summer and fall have come and gone, the only thing you should be worried about is making sure that your snow blower and shovel are good to go, right? Wrong.

Just because trees and shrubs have begun to lose or have lost their leaves it doesn’t mean that they’re done needing attention for the season. Sure, they’ve bloomed and shed their leaves but this is when the real ✨magic✨ happens.

What’s so magical about a tree with no leaves? This is the dormant window when you’re supposed to prune them. Its dormancy is the time of year when you (someone who is knowledgeable and trained) are able to cut your trees without causing damage or stressing them out.

Before we go any further, this is for most deciduous plants meaning, “falling at maturity” and “tending to fall off”, a reference to trees and shrubs that seasonally shed leaves usually in the autumn.

What is Pruning?

No, it doesn’t mean you start chucking dried-up plums at your tree. Pruning is when you selectively remove dead, dying, diseased, or damaged branches from the tree to help keep the tree healthy. Pruning your tree stimulates new growth and helps keep your tree healthy. The goal of pruning a tree to for health reasons. It is typically more selective, by removing a few specific branches that are damaged, unhealthy or likely to become if left alone. Pruning is done less frequently than trimming and usually needs to be done only every two to three years. The type of tree you have will determine how frequently you have to prune. Many people tend to exchange the terms “pruning” and “trimming. Keep reading to learn the difference between the two.


  • Pruning trains the plant to grow a certain way: Pruning early in the plant’s life will help train the tree how to grow. It will require less corrective pruning as the plant matures and is more likely to have a healthier formation.
  • Removing damaged branches from your trees makes your lawn safer, and helps there to be less storm damage if your trees have weak branches.
  • It promotes quality fruit production: Pruning your fruit tree correctly will help increase the quality and quantity of your fruit by allowing more oxygen and direct sunlight to the tree.
  • Having mature, strong, and well-maintained trees can increase the value of your property.

Tree before it’s been pruning.

Tree after it’s been pruned.

When Is The Right Time To Prune?

This depends on the type of tree and shrub you’re working with.

For most, pruning should be done during the winter months when the plant is dormant. But for shrubs and trees that flower in early spring, it is recommended to prune them after they’ve bloomed since they grow their buds once they’re done blooming in preparation for the next season. If you wait too long to prune, you are most likely to have a flowerless tree/shrub come the following spring.

It is recommended to prune your deciduous trees every two to three years to help maintain a healthy tree. Evergreens (ex. pine trees) are usually pruned less often because they have less growth.

What is Trimming?

Trimming is removing excess overgrowth on your trees, shrubs, and hedges to maintain their condition. This is mainly done mid-season, when they are still leafy, to help with shape, and to keep within a certain size and appearance of the plant. This is to help the plant keep its clean, neat, aesthetic appearance. Trimming is a more general, all-over type of approach unlike pruning, where that’s more selective as to where you make your cuts.

The Dangers of DIY Pruning 

  • Poorly pruning your trees makes it harder for the tree to heal, making them more susceptible to disease and damage.
  • Depending on the height of your trees, it may require you to climb to tall heights, which can result in injury to you, and to other people.
  • To heavily prune your tree during its growing season.
  • Using dull tools – causing rough cuts leaving larger wounds

If you’re unsure of what you need to be done, give us a call and we can talk through it, or share with us some pictures and we can let you know what we recommend. All Terrain has a number of ISA Certified Arborists on hand that are always glad to help!