The timing of projects is an important consideration, below are a few things to bare in mind;
- From mid March - mid May pruning work on trees should be avoided, unless urgently required. Throughout this period trees are in their weakest state as they are using up all their stored energy to produce leaves, sap is also rising during this period. As a bare minimum you should be allowing a couple of weeks of consolidation after leaves have flushed, however, later in the summer and into the autumn and early winter is much better for tree health.
- Any large scale conifer work should be avoided from March- August due to nesting birds, and we would advise this work should be taking place from late autumn onwards. (it is illegal to disturb nesting birds of any kind)
- Fruit trees are best pruned after they have finished fruiting, from October- February.
- Magnolias should be pruned between late spring and early autumn.... after flowering, as they will set their buds for the following year. Walnuts should also be pruned at a similar time.
- Varieties of Prunus (Cherries) are best pruned in June/July when they are in their strongest state of growth and most effectively defend against airbourne pathogens. Cherries are particularly susceptible to bacterial canker and silver leaf which are airbourne spores which are present from September-May, so autumn/winter pruning should be avoided. If you look at a lot of cherries you'll notice quite a few already have a silvery leaf, most likely attributed to pruning at the incorrect time. Infected Cherries are highly likely to decline over a couple of years and the weakening of the tree allows other more aggressive fungi to colonise the tree.
- Hedge maintenance should be done in late summer/ early autumn so it doesn't need to be done twice in a year. Trimming a hedge in the late spring will mean it will want doing again by the end of summer.