The Q&A Archives: Pruning out of season.

Question: I have a chinese chestnut that I have been working on for 4 years. It produced profusely this year. Obviously this is what I have been working for. There are some branches that have died this season, and there was a large branch that crosses and I forgot to prune it off earlier this year. My question is can I cut off the branches that don't have leaves and I figure are dead along with the crossing branch that doesn't produce? This is August and these branches are well below the other branches and would only be minimally exposed to direct sun. I just don't want to damage this tree. It was given to my husband by his father as a cutting.

Answer: You can prune out dead branches at any time, as well as that crossing branch. My references on Chinese Chestnut trees indicate there is no critical time to prune (or avoid pruning). It sounds as though you're being very thoughtful about your tree and the stresses that pruning might cause. I expect your tree will thrive under your great care. Enjoy!

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