As we say hello to warmer and brighter days, that means it’s time to show off your beautiful outdoor landscape – and a very important tip to remember when it comes to having a lawn and garden that turns heads is to correctly prune your plant life.
To many homeowners, pruning is one of the most neglected tasks when it comes to lawn and garden maintenance but in reality, it’s one of the most important things you need to do to have a beautiful outdoor landscape. Let’s help you with some quick tips and important information to know so you can prune your landscape with confidence this season.
Why is pruning so important?
- Promotes plant health
- Controls plant size and shape
- Improves appearance of plants
- Protects your property
When is the best time to prune?
There will be times where it’s important to prune no matter what season or time of the year it is, especially if you see damaged, dead, or weak branches and stubs. Let’s start with the time when it’s best NOT to prune, which is in the fall or early winter. Pruning during this time can stunt your plant growth and hurt foliage production. Plus, living in the Northeast or cold winter climates, do you really want to get bundled up and spend time outside in the cold pruning? Yeah, we didn’t think so either.
We recommend pruning during the late winter or early spring because this is the time where most plant life is typically planted so it can grow and bloom in the summer and fall. It’s also a great time to prune because the naked limbs make it easy to see the areas that you need to prune.
How to prune young trees
Planting trees are one of the smartest things you can do to upgrade the aesthetic of your property. They provide extra and needed shade for those hot summer days and truly are the show-stopper of your landscape. That’s why when after you plant any tree, you need to prune – after all, these majestic beauties aren’t going to grow strong and healthy on their own. At the time you plant your tree, be sure to remove any dead or broken branches. As the tree begins to grow and fill out, here is what you need to do to properly prune your young trees.
- Remove rubbing or crossing branches and ones that grow back towards the center of the tree – you don’t want your tree to look like a pretzel.
- Remove branches that appear too close to each other on the trunk.
- Remove lower branches to allow more clearance above your lawn, garden, sidewalk, or street.
- Remove dead, dying and diseased wood or branches from the crown of the tree.
- Always prune just above a bud so the branch can grow outside of the tree.
- If you need to trim a branch or twig, cut it about 1/4 inch above the bud.
How to prune shrubs
Shrubs don’t require as much pruning as trees but it’s still key to give a little pruning love to your shrubs to help them properly grow. Remember, avoiding pruning can lead to damaged plants and deformed looking plants. Here are some quick tips on how to correctly prune shrubs so they fill out and bloom to your liking.
- Thin out the branches so there is proper spacing between them
- Prune away any broken, dead, weak, crossing, or diseased branches – this helps expose the shrub to more sunlight, which encourages healthier growth and flowering.
- Trim any long, unbranched stems just above the bud – this is called “heading” and will help the shrub grow to its natural form.
- Similar to trees, cutting above the bud helps the branch grow away from the shrub and not get tangled or rub against the crown.
Prune when necessary and watch your plant life thrive
Pruning shortly after you plant any tree or shrub is always the right choice but that doesn’t mean you won’t have to prune again the rest of the growing season. Always keep a lookout for any damaged branches or twigs that need to be trimmed. You don’t want to be the only home on your block with an ugly, overgrown display of plant life (think of all the dirty looks and whispers you’ll hear!).
If you’re still confused about pruning or honestly don’t feel like doing it yourself, that’s okay, just make sure it gets done! That’s why we always recommend calling the experts at Neave Lawn Care. Our professional team will visit your property and diagnose all your plant life so it gets the proper pruning it needs. Plus, if you have larger trees, it’s always a smart idea to have professionals who have the experience to cut and trim large branches to help protect the health and growth of the tree and of course, your property. As always, no matter what type of lawn or plant care you need done, the team at Neave Lawn Care have the skills and tools for every job.
If you’re in the Hudson Valley, call us at (845) 463-0592. If you’re in Westchester County, call (914) 271-7996; from Connecticut, dial (203) 212-4800. Or, fill out our simple web form, and we’ll contact you about setting up your free consultation.