May 17, 2019

You’ve been meaning to get around to that phone call. It’s on the list. Clean the gutters, mow the lawn, and prune the shrubs. You aren’t alone if you’ve waited to get your yard and landscaping in order in the Ann Arbor area. Spring has a way of sneaking up on people and plant life starts growing quickly. Don’t worry if you’ve taken a little longer to make that landscaping call. It’s not too late to prune those shrubs.

Landscape contractor holding a pruning tool.About Spring Pruning

Like a yearly haircut, spring pruning helps focus plant growth and improve plant health for the coming year. Spring trims provide an easy way to identify the branches that need cutting, as there are low leaf growth and presence. Cutting off these branches helps stimulate growth right before the prime growing season. For berry bushes, this will increase fruit yield. Spring pruning is recommended as the first buds are appearing ahead of that last frost.

There are slight exceptions to the spring pruning rule when it comes to rose bushes and flowering plants. Dogwoods, Rhododendrons, and climbing roses are examples of shrubs that should be pruned after flowering.

Location Matters

What many people call spring pruning is more of a late-winter pruning. For warmer, southern locations, this pruning may need to happen in late winter itself, such as late February or March. In northern climates like Michigan, this pruning season can extend well through April and May. Even as late as May, the average low temperature is around 48 degrees, still cold — but not freezing. Temperature distinction is important becauspruning can occur without exposing the cut “wounds” to harsh temperatures while growing season is just around the corner.

Avoid Pruning in Late Summer

While there is some time to complete your spring pruning, leaving this chore until late summer is not advised. Pruning in spring gives time for soft bark to harden and prepare for the cold winter season. If this is instead done in summer or fall, the soft bark will be left vulnerable to cold winter conditions and frost, creating a vulnerability that could sicken the entire plant. This occurrence is known as winter die off.

It’s time to get the professionals scheduled so that you can capitalize on seasonal growth and ready your shrubs for the summer season. Your area experts can help you decide the right times to prune all of your different landscaping plants using local knowledge and experience. Don’t hesitate to contact Twin Oaks Landscape today!