12 Things You Should Know About Pruning in Red Deer

12 Things You Should Know About Pruning in Red Deer


Pruning an ornamental crabapple, May 11th. R.LePage photo.


1. January – Stay inside.

2. February – On nice days, a good time to shear conifers, such as spruce and cedar, for topiary.

3. March – This is the ideal month to start for pruning most Red Deer trees and shrubs, except for Maples and Birches.  You might have to wade through the snow a bit.

4. April – Still a good month for pruning most trees and shrubs, but watch that you aren’t pruning while the plants if the buds are breaking.

5. May – You can safely prune up to 10% of the canopy anytime of year in Red Deer, but for hard pruning, wait until the plants are fully leafed out.  Also, late May is the ideal time to apply systemic insecticides to control things like aphids and leafminers.  Make sure you hire a licensed pesticide applicator for that one.

6. June – Early in the month you can start pruning birches and maples.  Everything else is fair game now as well, but you will find it more difficult to see the branch structure and might want to wait until November.  I also like to wait until after the growth flush to start summer pruning in Red Deer.

7. July – Sit on the deck and relax; you’ve earned it!

8. August – If you haven’t pruned your birches and maples yet, you better get on it.  After all, its Red Deer, it could snow this month!

9. September – This is a great month for planting trees as the soil is warm and roots are growing rapidly.  Get those maples and birches done asap!

10. October – Wait ’til the leaves are off, and you can start pruning those young trees for proper structure and form.  I recommend Edward Gilman’s Illustrated Guide to Pruning.

11. November – Last chance to beat the snow (maybe!) and get that pruning done.  I avoid heavy pruning at this time of year to avoid potential twig die-back due to Red Deer’s weather extremes.

12. December – Relax.  Go skating or something.