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Aug 14, If you're looking to prune back the ends of the branches to produce a desired shape (shearing), then late spring or early summer in the growing season is best. Dead branches can be pruned off at any time, but if you want to remove whole, live branches then prune from late winter to early spring before new growth starts.
Evergreen Trees. Evergreen trees, such as pine, spruce, and fir, require little pruning. Dead, broken, and diseased branches can be removed at any time of year. Late winter is the best time to remove unwanted lower branches on evergreen trees.
Spruce and fir trees possess side or lateral buds on their newest (outermost) growth. To promote denser growth, cut shoots back to just above a lateral bud or side.