Shrub care for foundation plantings, trimming hedgerows for privacy and/or security, and pruning of feature flowering shrubs such as roses requires special shrub care knowledge, artistry and experience. Whether you are looking for a natural aesthetic or more formal appearance, it is important to hire a shrub care professional that is familiar with the appropriate timing, staging and techniques needed to deliver results that match your expectations and personal style.
Proper pruning enhances the beauty of almost any landscape tree and shrub, while improper pruning can ruin or greatly reduce its landscape potential. In most cases, it is better not to prune than to do it incorrectly. By using improper pruning methods healthy plants are often weakened or deformed.
Pruning, like any other skill, requires proper knowledge to achieve success. It is done to supply additional energy for the development of flowers, fruits, and limbs that remain on the plant. Pruning involves removing plant parts to improve the health, landscape effect, or value of the plant.
Pruning can actually be done at any time of the year. However, recommended times vary with different plants. In general, the best time to prune most plants is during late spring and summer after the new growth has been established typically July 1st through August 31st . We recommend pruning damaged plants or plants with dead limbs as soon as possible to avoid additional insect and disease problems that may develop.
We first remove all dead, broken, diseased or problem limbs by cutting them at the point of origin or back to a strong lateral branch or shoot. Often, removing this material opens the canopy sufficiently so that no further pruning is necessary. To encourage rapid healing of wounds, we make all cuts clean and smooth. This requires good, sharp pruning equipment
Our pruning recommendation for most deciduous shrubs is the thinning out method. In thinning out, a branch or twig is cut off at its point of origin from either the parent stem or ground level.
We also use the pinching back technique. We simply use our fingers to pinch off the terminal bud of the branch. This will encourage lateral branches to form and can be a great way to prevent the need for more pruning later on.
Shearing involves trimming off the tips of branches and is best used only for formal hedges. Shearing alters the shrub’s natural shape and promotes thick growth only on the exterior of the plant, which results in dead foliage and lack of growth on the interior branches.