Tips On How To Prune And Maintain Your Trees And Shrubs

a great tree in the park area

When your shrubs and trees are in need of pruning, knowing a couple of basic methods on the right way to prune is able to achieve pleasing shapes as well as protect your investments in regard to your plants.

Pruning is a type of maintenance practice which is often beneficial to woody landscaped plants when performed correctly. A bit of knowledge surrounding the growth habits of the shrub or tree and the right time to prune is important to prevent “butchering” or hacking the appearance of the plants. For instance, shrubs and trees are better pruned when they are young rather than allowing the plant to become overgrown.

Keeping the shape and size of a shrub or tree under control when the plant is still young is far better for both its aesthetic appearance and health. In summary, a pruning job well-done will maintain the natural shape of the plant, while at the same time removing diseased or dead branches.

The use of the correct equipment also becomes necessary to arrive at the best results when you are pruning. The minimum tools that a homeowner requires includes hand-held pruning shears, pruning saw, and a long-handled lopping shears. Even though loppers or a pole saw is a costly tool, they are extremely handy for pruning branches off trees in a safe manner without having to leave the ground.

When it comes to safety, it is always recommended to hire an arborist or tree company to prune and maintain trees that are tall with tree branches with a large diameter. These professionals have the equipment, skills and experience to conduct these tasks safely and correctly. Pruning the limbs off trees that are in near proximity to electrical wires can be dangerous and often necessitates expert assistance from tree service or utility companies.

The ideal time to prune plants for the health of a tree or shrub is either in the later part of winter or the earlier part of spring before the new growth commences. However, there is an exception to this rule when it comes to when certain shrubs or trees flower or in regard to other characteristics like sap “bleeding” in the maple trees that will benefit better when pruned at a specified time.

When pruning most shrubs and trees, the cut should always be made close to where branches originate on the main limb or trunk and avoid leaving behind a stub. An exception will be when pruning a hedge that requires definitive shapes.

To begin with, remove all the insect-infested or diseased branched first. This should be followed by removing branches that rub against each other as well as any branches that are growing back towards the middle of the shrub or tree.

A 3-cut technique should be used to remove branches that exceed an inch in their diameter to prevent tearing or ripping the bark. This method eliminates the weight of a branch first before a final cut is made close to a limb or the trunk.