Pruning dead/pest infested branches?

Asked June 5, 2016, 9:40 PM EDT

I have a
- 7yr old Eastern Redbud with dead branches (harsh winters)
- a 15 yr old River Birch and half its branches are dead (leafminer I assume)

Is it always best to cleanly prune any dead wood as soon as it's detected? (Assuming it's an appropriate time of year)

What about branches heavily infested with tent caterpillars?

Thank you very kindly.

Outside United States trees and shrubs pruning trees and shrubs

1 Response

It is best to prune off dead branches as soon as you know they are dead regardless of the time of year. The dead branches on the birch are more likely from bronze birch borer damage than from leaf miners.

If you have a really bad tent caterpillar infestation it is OK and good to take out that branch and discard it.