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Best Time of Year to Prune Hardwoods

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From: Aaron Gambill
Dugger, IN
Jay I have planted a few trees in my yard over the last two or three years. I was wondering what's the best time to prune them? I have a Maple, Oak and Poplar tree that look bad and have a lot of low limbs and just wanted to know when was the best time to prune them? Thanks

Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
I'm an advocate for dormant season pruning (mid to late November through the first couple weeks in March for central Illinois).

Pruning during early spring (sap flow), summer, and early fall is the least desirable time to prune your hardwood trees.

Some people I know say its fine to prune black walnut during the summer; however, I completely disagree w/ that ideology based on my understanding of the science behind pruning and wounding.

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