A good starting point for pruning any plant is to remove dead, diseased, or damaged stems as soon as you see them. Dead stems attract insects and invite diseases to develop. Also remove crossing branches, water sprouts (vigorous upright growing shoots that form on trunks or side branches), and suckers (vigorous shoots that develop near or from below ground). Pruning can greatly increase a bush’s health, growth and beauty. Once you have mastered a few basic techniques, you can prune your bushes without fear of damaging or destroying them. Timing your pruning well is just as important as trimming properly.
Spring Is the Time To Do Most of Your Pruning
Plants that flower on new wood can be pruned in early spring, just as the new growth begins. This leaves them plenty of time to recover from pruning and still create flower buds that will bloom that season. The ideal time to do this is after the buds have emerged on the stems, but before they expand. At this point, you can see where the healthy new growth is located, and pruning before the buds leaf out means that the plant doesn’t waste energy on buds you’ll just be cutting off anyway. During this season, you can prune azalea, rhododendron, lilac, honeysuckle and oh so many other bushes.
Don’t Prune in the Fall
Some plants grow best if they are cut back in the winter, while others prefer the spring just after flowering. Knowing when to trim requires some research. The most important thing to remember is never prune in the Fall. In the Fall plants are going dormant preparing for the winter, pruning will stimulate the growth and weaken the plant. If you have an urge to prune your plants in the Fall put away your shears until the dead of winter. In the winter it is safe to prune and it is easier because the leaves are gone. Pruning in the winter can give plants energy in the spring for vigorous growth.
Prune Overgrown Deciduous Plants in the Winter
Deciduous means “falling off at maturity” or “tending to fall off”, and it is typically used in order to refer to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally (most commonly during autumn) and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe. Winter is typically the best season to prune overgrown deciduous trees and shrubs. For example, you can prune gardenia, hydrangeas, privet, summer sweet, sweet shrub, butterfly bush and oh so many deciduous bushes.
A Few Good Tips
- Moisture can encourage the growth of diseases. Avoid pruning during wet or damp weather. Instead wait until a sunny day so the sunlight can dry the plant, killing mold and bacteria.
- If your trees or bushes have dead wood or damaged wood, you can prune any time of the year.
- Avoid pruning young trees. Young shrubs can take a light pruning and pruning will help the bush grow fuller and bushier.
Now the question is are you ready to get started pruning your bushes and trees or would you rather leave the job to the pros who will get it right the first time! A& A Lawn Care & Landscaping helps residential and commercial clients with their lawns and landscaping all year ’round!
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