Trimming Spruce trees

Asked May 24, 2016, 9:45 AM EDT

I have some large spruce trees that I would like to "shape up" - they have grown a little wild. Please see the attached photos: in number 1 you can see the branches heading off to the left, it's this kind of trimming I'm asking about. My questions: is it OK to trim those kinds of larger branches? Can it be done at this time of year? If not when is the best time?

Chisago County Minnesota

3 Responses

Spruce trees can be pruned anytime of the year. Typically they do not require much pruning. Right now you will notice new growth on the tree (called candles). This area of new growth is what should be pruned rather than cutting off old, established growth. I have attached a link to an article on pruning from the University of Minnesota. It goes in to some detail on pruning conifers. Another resource for you would be an arborist from an area tree care company.

yes - I read that article before sending my question and didn't feel it addressed it. I'm not asking about the candles on the end and pruning those - I'm asking about actually cutting branches. Please see original pictures sent and advise if OK

Thanks much

Yes, branches can be pruned at most times except late summer. Be sure to leave some needles/buds on branches (do not prune to bare wood).