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When is the Best Time to Trim/Prune Trees in LA?

Having a lush landscape is an essential part of any aesthetically-pleasing Los Angeles property. However, that does not mean that you should allow your trees, shrubs, and other plants to grow rampantly throughout your lawn. Overgrown trees can cause both property damage and personal injuries.

To keep your property looking pristine, it’s essential to routinely trim your trees. But when is the best time to trim and prune your plants?

Thankfully, the experienced tree care specialists at Green Leaf Zone are here to help. Here is everything you need to know about tree trimming times in Los Angeles. 

When is the Best Time to Trim Trees in Los Angeles?

Los Angeles, just like the rest of Southern California, does not experience strong seasonal fluctuations. However, each season will affect your trees differently if you decide to trim them during that time. This is especially true for non-native trees and plants.

As a good rule of thumb, winter is generally a great time to prune most landscape trees in Los Angeles. While you can trim your trees at other times during the year, you should never prune them in the spring. This is their growing period. Avoid trimming trees during the time their buds start to swell until the young leaves have grown to their full size. Keep in mind that all trees will bud and bloom at different times throughout the spring. 

Trees to Trim During Any Time of the Year

There are some exceptions to the rule we just gave you. Some trees, mainly sick, dead, or damaged ones, can be trimmed at virtually any time of the year. These include:

  • Diseased branches: If you notice one funky-looking branch on your plant, it’s in your tree’s best interest to remove the diseased branch. Failing to do so can enable the virus to spread and kill the entire tree.
  • Dead or damaged branches: Dead tree branches can pose a threat to your property. They could fall at any time, damaging your home or car. Moreover, they also look ugly.
  • Branches that have grown too close to power lines: If your home is situated near power lines, be mindful of how close your trees come to touching those lines. Plants that grow too close to power lines can be a fire hazard. Never attempt to trim trees that are growing near power lines yourself. Always call a professional tree services company.

Trees to Avoid Trimming Unless It’s Necessary

There are several types of trees that grow in Los Angeles that rarely need to be trimmed. Over-pruning these trees, especially during the wrong season, can severely damage or even kill them. Some SoCal trees to avoid trimming unless it’s absolutely necessary include:

  • Saucer magnolias: This type of tree doesn’t heal well after it’s been pruned, especially when its bark or buds are damaged.
  • Palm trees: Palms don’t need to be trimmed because they don’t have branches. They have fronds. Trimming the fronds can also weaken the trunk.
  • In damp weather conditions: Avoid trimming any tree during moist or humid weather conditions. This can encourage mold and bacteria growth, putting your tree in harm’s way.

Always do thorough research on your trees before pruning them. If you need help learning what trees to avoid trimming, the tree trimming experts at Green Leaf Zone are more than happy to help. Call us today to learn more.

Trees to Trim in the Summer 

Some trees thrive best when they’re trimmed during the summer months. These include the California Box Elder. If your Elder is variegated (or has lighter colored markings on the foliage), it needs to be trimmed more so than other trees to maintain its unique color patterns.

Some other trees to prune during the summer include:

  • Camphor tree
  • Carrot wood
  • Kaffir plum
  • Olive
  • Ornamental figs
  • Toyon

Trees to Trim in the Winter

The best time to trim Western Redbuds and Arizona Ash trees is in the winter. Proper trimming will increase the lifespan of these trees. In fact, trimming Arizona Ash trees can nearly double their lifespan.

Other trees to trim in the winter include:

  • Ash
  • Birch
  • Cape chestnut
  • Cedars
  • Chinese elm
  • Cypress
  • Eucalyptus
  • Maple
  • Pine
  • Redwood

Winter is an ideal time to prune most Southern California trees because they’re dormant and not growing. It’s also easier to do since the limbs and branches are bare.

Benefits of Trimming Trees


There are many benefits to keeping your trees trimmed. Not only will trimming certain trees lengthen their life but quality tree trimming services can also:

  • Boost tree health by eliminating dead, dying, or diseased branches
  • Improve the overall appearance of your trees and landscaping
  • Enhance sun exposure and air circulation, improving the tree’s overall health
  • Improve the quantity and size of the crops of fruiting trees
  • Help newly planted trees thrive because it compensates for root loss
  • Opens your property up to improve your view

Expert Tree Trimming Services in Los Angeles 

If you’re on the hunt for a quality tree care company, contact Green Leaf Zone today. Our licensed, bonded, and insured team of experts can precisely prune your trees to reveal their true beauty. With over 35 years of cumulative experience, we also offer stump grinding, brush clearing, and tree removal services to the residents of Los Angeles.

For your free quote, contact us today by calling 818-452-3470. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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