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Pruning trees, shrubs and conifers in the fall

Trees with branches that are well-spaced up the trunk, shrubs with thick, healthy foliage: this is the ideal we all strive for.To achieve this, they must be pruned.

Deciduous Tree

In order to enjoy and improve our landscaping, and to ensure an healthy growth, it is important to prune the trees. However, it must be done at the right time.

Pruned in late fall after the leaves have fallen:

  • Ash
  • Beech
  • Birches (every 2 to 3 years)
  • Ginkgo
  • Juniper
  • Linden (every 3 to 5 years old)
  • Maples
  • Oak trees
  • Walnut


Pruning techniques vary according to plant species, location and desired results. As a general rule:

  • Remove any damaged branches and dead wood as soon as you notice it to promote better growth
  • Never cut more than 20 to 30% of the branches per year
  • Cut the lower branches on the trunk
  • Prune branches that touch or rub against each other during winds and create a bark wound
  • Never cut the terminal leader

Read the article on pruning trees.


If you want to encourage flowering or reduce the size of an overgrown shrub, you must trim at the time that's most propitious for encouraging the next season's flowering.

Shrubs that bloom on old wood, should be pruned after the flowering period:

  • Chokeberry
  • Forsythia
  • Hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla)
  • Lilac (Syringa)
  • Rhododendron
  • Spring-flowering spirea
  • Weigela


  • Remove all damaged branches and dead wood at any time of the year to promote better growth
  • Prune stems that are too close together or weak, and those that grow inward

Conifers and evergreen

Hedges, narrow-leaved or broad-leaved evergreens are pruned in spring or early summer.