The Best Time to Prune a Birch Tree

Updated July 19, 2017

Birch trees are known for their stunning, peeling bark and attractive foliage. They are often used in landscapes as a specimen tree because of their striking ornamental features. To maintain a healthy and long-lived birch tree, follow an annual pruning plan.

Time Frame

Prune the birch tree after the foliage has fully developed in late spring to early summer. Birch trees have sap that "bleeds" in late winter to early spring, so never prune during this time period.


Don't remove more than 1/4 of the live foliage on the birch tree. Avoid excessive pruning, as this increases light penetration around the root base, affecting the soil temperatures and reducing the moisture levels.


Pruning a birch tree helps to create a strong framework and form. Shearing out dead, diseased and unwanted branches offers an open, tidy canopy. Pruning also decreases the chance of insect infestations, which can devastate a birch tree.

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About the Author

Callie Barber has been writing professionally since 2002. Barber's love for design and writing inspired her to create Design Your Revolution, a blog that shares creative and affordable ways to decorate indoor and outdoor living environments. Her articles have appeared on and Barber holds a Bachelors of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina.