Pruning is one of the main tasks that goes into managing the shrubs around your Ann Arbor MI home. Knowing how and when to perform shrub pruning your plants makes the difference between healthy, good-looking bushes and ones that are unhealthy or misshapen.
Simply put, pruning is the act of removing branches to improve a plant’s shape and to aid its growth. Here are some tips that can help you to prune your shrubs effectively:
1. Cut Off Bad Branches
When pruning, you will want to start by cutting off dead or damaged branches. These branches have a negative effect on the plant’s appearance while also encouraging rot and disease. You will also want to cut off any branches that are growing in the wrong direction such as across other branches. Aside from distracting from the rest of the plant, branches that grow in the wrong direction can rub against other branches and wear away the bark. The damage caused by that rubbing takes longer to heal when compared to clean cuts. Getting rid of bad branches also has the benefit of opening up the interior of shrubs. This lets in light and air thus making the plant healthier and encouraging growth.
2. Cut Just Above a Bud
You will want to cut the tip of the branch, just after the bud. Shrubs grow from their tips and when these tips are removed, buds below the point of the cut are stimulated to grow. Choose which branches to prune carefully and pay attention to growth from previous years to help you decide where to cut. It should be noted that cutting too close to a bud will cause it to dry out.
3. Avoid Pruning by Cutting the Top Branches Only
While it may seem easier to use your shears to create a uniform flattop look, the benefits are only temporary as the plant’s shape will eventually become unnatural without helping you to control the shrub’s size. The plant will actually get larger and it will become more difficult for you to reduce its size without ruining it.
4. Prune a Shrub’s Canes
Shrubs that have cane-type growth patterns will send canes up from their roots on a yearly basis. With these plants, you will want to prune away the oldest wood in order to control the height of the shrub. It is recommended that you cut away a third of the canes. This allows you to control how the shrub spreads as well as to let light in to the plant’s interior. The roots of the plant will send up new shoots so that within a year or two you will have nice new bushes.
5. Early Flowering shrubs Should be Pruned After they Bloom
The flower buds on these shrubs are formed on growth from the previous year. This means that if you remove stems before they bloom, you may be removing blossoms as well. However, it is important to prune right after flowering to allow these shrubs enough time to develop flower buds for the next year.
If you want to know more about shrub pruning or other landscaping services for your Ann Arbor MI home, contact us right away for more information.