When It’s Safe to Start Cutting

Pruning is a mysterious topic for homeowners, who don’t want to accidentally kill the plant, but are tired of the Jumanji look in their flower beds.

Here’s a rule of thumb. Evergreens can be safely pruned throughout the year; flowering trees, shrubs and plants can be cut back safely after flowing occurs.

Fall and winter are the best times to prune, leaving the plant or tree less vulnerable to pests and disease.

Here’s why you need to prune:

  • Aesthetics and controlling growth – over time plants will exceed the space you have allotted for it. If it’s part of a landscape design, it should fit in well with its surroundings.
  • Improving plant health – Any dead or dying branches should be removed. They leave the plant prone to infection from pests or diseases (bacteria/fungi). Not only will they infest that plant, they’ll start to attack others in proximity.
  • Boosting flowering – Removing any healthy but excess, leggy branches will also improve the quality of the flowering the next season. The plant will spend more nutrients and energy in a smaller area of tissue.
  • Training the plant – Believe it or not, you can train the plant to grow in a desired shape. For instance, if you like a more cultivated look, pruning select branches will tell the plant where to put its new growth.

Technique is everything.

Hacking away at a plant will come back to bite you. We always prune to the next vigorous bud, at less than a 45 degree angle to the branch we are removing. That’s the safest way to make a cut that can heal and promote budding.

Need help with pruning and cut backs in your landscape? I’d be happy to meet you onsite and review your landscaping needs. Book an estimate today!