Pruning should be done in the cold weather i.e. between mid-November to mid-January under N.E. Indian condition. In general, the optimum time of the year to prune is when the plant is dormant or its growth rate is the slowest and carbohydrates reserves in roots are high. The exact time depends on the locality, climate, crop and quality requirement, seasonal crop distribution, susceptibility to pests and diseases etc.
In non-droughty areas pruning can commence as soon as the bushes go dormant in the winter, beginning from around the mid November and the operation should be completed by the third week of December.
In droughty areas, pruning should not commence before the first or second week of December and should be completed by mid-January. When pruning is delayed beyond mid-January there will be loss of crop depending on region and weather conditions.
In hills, pruning time can be advanced by about two weeks as the plucking season closes a little earlier.