January 11, 2023

Pruning is a complex matter of balancing every plant’s preferences, resources, and good health while keeping your landscape trim and looking fabulous!

Your professional landscape company should know every proper pruning technique, as well as the right timing for pruning each plant and garden in your landscape.

So many different plants! How can you remember when and how to properly prune for optimal health, shape, form, and flowering (not to mention fruiting if you wish to have fruit trees)?

Person wearing orange gardening gloves using pruning scissors to cut a plant.

What to Know About Seasonal Pruning

If you want to maximize the health of certain plants, especially trees, the right timing is particularly important.

For example, there are tree diseases like Oak Wilt that are killing large communities of Oaks across the US. To avoid the spread of this devastating tree disease, there is a call requesting No Pruning of Oak Trees except during dormancy from September through March.

Pruning for trees susceptible to certain diseases, like the Oaks mentioned above, and Birch Trees with Birch Borers must be done carefully and usually during the safer times of dormancy. Most other trees, and larger woody shrubs, will also benefit from mid-winter pruning.

Another plant that will benefit from scheduling mid-winter pruning is Wisteria. If you hope to have bountiful blooms each season, proper pruning is especially important for this beautiful flowering plant.

Wisteria will set more flower buds after a hard-prune in mid-February; along with an additional medium-trim in mid-July, Wisteria will redirect resources for setting even more of the following year’s flower buds!

While some pruning is important to do in winter, other pruning may be better done either well before blooming, or just after blooming is complete. Still other plants need frequent ‘dead-heading’ to encourage more blooms, or some require occasional ‘pinching’, or a spring to mid-summer ‘trim’ to keep them from getting ‘leggy’ and flopping over.

Special pruning, and clean-up of debris, is a requirement for the good health of Roses, Hydrangeas, and other long flowering plants, too. Timing for pruning any of the many varieties of each will differ greatly, which is why we highly recommend consulting a professional to schedule pruning services.

A Review of Some Pruning Techniques

Pruning is much more complicated than simply snipping off a few branches or flowers. You will need to have a different technique and skill, for nearly every plant, and you’ll need to consider different factors to choose the right method for each plant.

Some pruning techniques include heading, thinning, rejuvenating, pinching, shearing, snipping, raising or “limbing” up, topping, reducing, deadheading, dehorning, pollarding, and pruning for espalier.

However, within all these varied pruning techniques, there are basically two types of pruning cuts: heading and thinning.

  • Heading is a cut back to an intermediate point.
  • Thinning cuts back to a point of origin.

Rejuvenation Pruning is using a combination of both types of cuts, each done at specific times!

Trimming, or hedge-clipping is actually many short heading cuts which must be within a recent ‘growth-surge’… Improper hedge-clipping, or trimming can actually cause plants to die-back, to look bare, and just be ‘sticky’, instead of being lush and full as this controlled growth stimulating method intends.

The Advantage of Working with a Landscaping Company

Pruning isn’t easy! When you work with a landscaping company, they can both advise you on your plant’s needs as well as take care of those needs for you to ensure that your plants are healthy, thriving, and beautiful all season.

Plant experts take a lot of time to perfect their craft. Pruning is both an art and a science, which requires a good deal of skill. To get the maximum benefit from pruning and to make sure that you are keeping your plants healthy, consider letting the professionals take care of your landscape for you.

Twin Oaks Landscape offers landscape maintenance service by professionals, to handle all your landscape maintenance needs, so contact us today to learn more about how we can help!