Pine Tree Trimming Tips

The pine tree (Pinus pinea) is an evergreen conifer with needles instead of traditional leaves. Pine trees are notorious for withstanding harsh climate conditions and adapting well in a variety of soil mediums. Extend the lifespan and growth rate of your pine trees with proper trimming.


Pine trees go into dormancy in the late fall and early winter. During this time, sap flow is reduced. Shape and train pine trees by trimming them during the dormancy period. This will encourage new growth when the tree leaves dormancy in the early spring.

Sharp Equipment

Long-handled gardening shears or small hacksaws are ideal for trimming pine trees. Sharpen blades prior to trimming to make cleaner cuts. Cutting at 45-degree angles with fresh blades reduces accidental wounds to the trees during the trimming process.

Sanitized Equipment

Sanitizing equipment between trimming cuts prevents the spread of insects, insect eggs and disease from one tree to the next. Infected equipment spreads problems to other areas of the tree. Spraying the equipment with a mild disinfectant spray and wiping the blades is the easiest and quickest method of sanitation.

Where to Trim

Many pine trees look fine from a distance because often diseased or dead limbs are on the inside of the trees. Begin trimming from the inside of the tree and work outwards. This method prevents over-trimming. Always remove damaged, infected or dead branches on first appearance to prevent future problems.

Appropriate Trimming Time

Avoid trimming pine trees on hot days to prevent the tree from drying out or becoming weak. September and October are the worst months to prune pine trees. New growth will appear just prior to the tree going into dormancy. These sections are vulnerable and can spread damage to the entire tree.

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About this Author

Joyce Priddy has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in psychology, with a minor in early childhood development. She has been freelance writing for five years and primarily writes for eHow.