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How often do you need to prune trees and have your hedges trimmed in Australia?

You could think about tree pruning and hedge trimming as having your haircut. It’s not something that you need to do overly often, but something that can really transform your appearance. The difference is, when trees and hedges get their hair cut, it can lead to strong and sturdy growth (whilst enjoying some of the aesthetic benefits as well). 

But, how often should you prune your trees in Australia? And how regularly should you have the hedges on your property trimmed? In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know, including pruning young trees, larger established trees, palm trees, and hedges in Australia. 

How often do you need to prune young trees in Australia? 

So, how often do you need to prune young trees? This is a difficult question to answer as the species of tree is important. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should prune a young tree at least every two to three years

If you aren’t sure, your best bet is to contact your local arborist for more information. You see, at such a young age, pruning incorrectly / too early / too often can be detrimental to its future growth. As such, confirm with the experts and make the proper call before you take to those young shrubs with the garden sheers. 

As an example, fruit trees require pruning once a year, whereas evergreens can go many, many years without needing a single cut. Species is crucial. 

How often do you need to prune large established trees in Australia? 

How often do you need to prune large established trees? Again, the same applies with the above; the species of tree is important. However, to give you a rough idea, most large and established trees only typically need pruning once every three to five years

In any case, you should be able to tell by looking at the tree if it could benefit from good pruning. For example, if you haven’t previously pruned the trees on your property and you have recently moved in, what condition are they in? 

Does your tree look especially wild and unruly? Are there crossed branches? Are there any dead and dying limbs that look weak and unstable? 

Typically, from a glance, it should be easy enough to tell if a tree needs pruning. However, if your trees look rather well-kempt and healthy, then you might be alright for a year or two. Again, you’ll want to consult with your friendly neighbourhood arborists first so that they can advise you accordingly. 

How often do you need to prune palm trees in Australia? 

And how often do you need to prune a palm tree? Bear in mind that in the right environment, palm trees require very little maintenance at all besides the occasional bit of pruning. However, pruning is crucial because an unpruned tree (particularly a palm) can be a serious safety hazard, not to mention a hideous eyesore. 

As to the frequency at which they should be pruned; typically, once or twice a year. You see, a palm tree requires pruning once the old fronds on the tree have turned brown, dried out, and effectively died. Given that palm trees grow new fronds every year, the older fronds are eventually null-and-void.  

Just be careful not to over-prune your palm tree, particularly if in anticipation. You must wait for the oldest fronds to visibly brown off and die before you start trimming, otherwise you run the risk of pruning away fronds that aren’t already dead, which can put the palm through unnecessary trauma (and the open wounds invite pests and diseases). 

How can regular pruning benefit my trees? 

Is regular tree pruning really that important? The short answer is yes. Here’s why:

  • Enable young trees to grow strong and sturdy 
  • Maintain the natural shape of the tree species
  • Thin-out and reduce the overall weight of an unnecessarily dense canopy 
  • Provide more food and water by eliminating any excessive branches 
  • Increase airflow through the tree
  • Allow the tree to get more sunlight 
  • Keep your property safe by pruning branches away from structures (and power lines) 
  • Eliminate any weak and potentially hazardous branches 
  • Increase the overall size and quantity of fruit on a fruiting tree
  • Bolster the overall health and life of your tree 

How often do hedges need to be trimmed in Australia?

And finally, how often do you need to trim the hedges on your property? Again, this all comes down to the species of hedge and what you would like to achieve. 

For a non-deciduous hedge, they only really need one light prune a year

For deciduous hedges, on the other hand, you should aim to trim them twice a year. In this case, it’s better to wait until the main bud break before you begin the second trim. 

If you aren’t quite sure, use the same rule of thumb as mentioned above; what condition is your hedge in? If you’ve recently moved into a property and the hedges are all over the shop, then a good trimming is likely in order, more so the case if you would like to adjust the size and shape in order to allow more light into your garden. Or alternatively, find a hedging expert and seek their advice. 

If you want to contour and give your hedge a light pruning, you’ll be best off using a pair of cutters with small teeth spacing. However, for anything more than that, a powered hedge trimmer will be required. 

For the best results, trim your hedge into a trapezoid shape (i.e., the bottom branches will be longer than those on top), thus ensuring that the entire hedge gets plenty of natural light. 


Here’s a quick summary of the information provided in this article: 

  • For pruning young trees: every two to three years 
  • For pruning older, mature trees: every three to five years
  • For pruning palm trees: every one or two years
  • For trimming hedges: once a year for non-deciduous, and twice a year for deciduous 

Again, these numbers are averages. This information has been given without looking at the trees on your property and understanding the condition that they are in. 

If you are uncertain and conscious of causing your trees unnecessary trauma, then please do not hesitate to contact us today. One of our friendly and expert arborists will gladly assist you.

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