Don’t trim trees during spring

Baby Allen’s hummingbirds at the California Wildlife Center

Spring is the time of year when many of the birds and the bees are getting busy with the birds and the bees. This means our feathered friends are finding choice places up high to build nests away from predators and prying eyes. After industriously collecting construction materials and layering twig upon twig just so, it’s time for mating rituals and laying eggs.

Bird couples don’t ask for much from us, they just want a quiet area to escape for awhile and safely care for their young. Often nests are built in trees hidden within the new spring foliage, which brings me to my point…spring is the absolute worst time to trim trees.

During my recent foray to the California Wildlife Center, there were several baby Allen’s hummingbirds there that had lost their nests thanks to tree trimming. For those of you who don’t live in Los Angeles, you may be surprised to learn that a little tree trimming could cause so many problems, but here tree trimming is really tree cutting or what I call tree slaughter.

Los Angeles tree slaughter

Instead of trimming a branch here and there, tree trimmers actually chop off large branches and pull off most of the leaves. The picture on the right is a perfect example, there aren’t really any choice nesting areas after someone trims with a chainsaw. I’ve ranted about this before in my post called “Bird friendly tree trimming,” but it seemed worth mentioning again.

For all the tree and bird conscious people out there, please make sure your friends, neighbors and coworkers know not to let gardeners trim trees in spring. Even better if you can convince people to have their trees truly trimmed and not chopped.

Help our feathered friends by keeping trees healthy, leafy and full throughout the year; it means more oxygen for us and also more shade.


  1. Bryan says

    Hear! Hear! It’s high time tree trimmers think about the creatures who actually use these trees. What if we came to their homes and sheared off a side or even the roof every spring?

  2. says

    Hey Carolyn, I am so much impressed from your blog. Its a great message about protecting birds. If trees are healthy then it will be beneficial for gardening professionals as well as for the birds that are flying across the trees for getting there basic needs. Tree trimming and pruning however is very important but by keeping in mind the usefulness of trees. I like your blog so much, such a interesting post.

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