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The benefits of reduction pruning in the summer

Posted on: July 11th, 2016


Reduction pruning is one of the main aspects of tree surgery. Usually, it is done in order to reduce the overall size of a tree. This may be because the tree is getting too large for the space it’s in, or because it has started to affect the light coming into your garden or home.

When undertaking reduction pruning, it is important not to stress the tree. Yes, a tree can be stressed, which will actually trigger a proliferation of new growth, counteracting what you’ve just attempted to do through reduction pruning.

To avoid inducing stress, you need to take into consideration when it should be done and how much volume should be removed.


The best time to prune a tree is during its dormancy, as in during the winter when it has no leaves. However, the next best time is actually during the height of summer. This is because the trees have had the chance to replenish the energy used in producing leaves.

In fact, summer can often be a better time to reduce volume than winter as you are able to see the natural shape of the tree’s canopy. You will also instantly reap the benefits of additional light and space.

Please note that there are exceptions to this; certain fruit trees should only be pruned in late summer or they won’t be able to naturally defend against silver leaf.

How much?

If you take too much volume out of your tree’s canopy it can induce stress-induced regrowth. Ideally you should not remove any more than 25% of the overall canopy.

This means that if you must act sooner rather than later – if you leave it pruning too long, the tree may become too large. You will then run a significant risk of either removing too much (and damaging the tree’s health) or not being able to prune as much as you want, leaving you with a tree that is still too big for the space it’s in and blocking out more natural light than you want.

In addition, if you are considering planting a new tree, you must anticipate its likely size before you plant it. Simply put, if you plant a tree that will grow to become too large for its surroundings, you are going to have problems.


A tree is a living thing. If you cut it, it will need to heal. When pruning, you will be leaving the tree with wounds – and too many of them could lead to future health problems. This is because harmful pathogens are able to gain entry through these wounds. Pathogens can cause disease and decay.

Want to call the experts?

Do you have a tree that is starting to block the natural light from your home or garden? Are you aware that your trees’ canopies could do with reduction pruning but you don’t have the time, confidence or tools to do it yourself?

Prince Tree Surgery is happy to help you manage and maintain your trees – covering Essex and beyond, we offer a complete range of professional, reliable tree surgery services, including tree felling and clearing, stump removal, pruning and reducing. Simply call us today to discuss your needs.

We hope you found this article on ‘The benefits of reduction pruning in the summer’ useful. If you would like to discuss any aspect of this article then please do not hesitate to call Prince Tree Surgery on 01277 229709.

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