I want to prune my aspens. When is the best time of year and is there a certain way?

December 10, 2010 Print Friendly and PDF
Most trees can be pruned at any time of year. Some exceptions are American elms and crabapples, which should be pruned in the winter to abate disease spread. Aspen, silver maples, birch, and walnut trees exude sap if pruned in the later winter or early spring, but this will not harm the tree. When pruning, remove all dead, damaged, and diseased wood. Make clean pruning cuts adjacent to, but not flush with, tree trunk or leader. Leaving a small stub, or collar, will allow the tree to compartmentalize the pruning wound and heal it naturally. No additional wound dressing is needed. For additional information, see: Follow Proper Pruning Techniques.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.