Pruning Tips for Healthier Shrubs and Bushes
If you have any shrubs or bushes on your property, then you’ll want to make sure you keep them pruned. Pruning your shrubs and bushes won’t just help keep up appearances (although it certainly will do just that, thereby helping you maintain your property’s curb appeal), it will also help you to maintain their health. This is because pruning will make it easier for sunlight to penetrate through to your shrubs and brushes, thereby helping to stimulate flowering and lateral growth.
Keeping that in mind, the following are a few tips to help you prune your shrubs and bushes properly:
1. Remove Damaged Branches
The first step you should take is to look for any branches that are dead or damaged. Not only do they look bad, but they leave the bush or shrub vulnerable to potential rot and disease. Cut off any damaged branches you find, including dried, diseased, or wilted branches.
2. First-Year Pruning
In the first year that you prune a bush or shrub, make sure you cut the branch tips just beyond the bud. This will help to promote more growth in smaller side branches, which will help to fill out vacant areas.
3. Trimming Canes
If you have any forsythia or hydrangea bushes (which are cane-type bushes), then you’ll want to prune the older canes in order to control their height. Cut them by one-third of their length. New canes shoot up every year as well. Don’t be afraid to prune them if you think the bush needs more light. You can also completely remove older canes if the bushes have gotten too large.
4. Cutting Entire Branches
If your bushes or shrubs are too big or dense, don’t be afraid to cut off entire branches. Doing so will let in more air and sunlight, which can promote its health. Be sure to cut them at the trunk or at a larger branch.
5. Don’t Cut The Branch Tips
It can be tempting to cut the branch tips at the top to help even out their look. However, this stimulates growth on the outermost branches, which will cause the bush or shrub to grow in an uneven shape, making it difficult to control its size. The only time it’s okay to cut the branch tips is if you’re pruning a hedge bush.
6. Don’t Leave Stubs
When cutting or sawing branches, you’ll want to do it right above where the branch connects to the main trunk. Avoid leaving stubs as they are likely to rot and could even become diseased.
7. Trim Your Evergreens Lightly
Evergreen bushes grow from their existing stems, which means that they don’t need as much pruning as other bushes (such as cane-style bushes). A light pruning
once a year to remove dead branches and to control their size is all that’s needed.
These are a few tips to keep in mind when pruning shrubs and bushes on your property. While it’s important to prune your bushes and shrubs to keep them healthy (and to keep them looking healthy), you don’t want to trim them improperly or you could risk damaging them. Make sure you use the right tools, such as hand clippers, saws, shears, and loppers. If you don’t have the right tools or aren’t confident in your ability to properly trim your shrubs and bushes, hire a professional, like Twin Oaks Landscape, to do the pruning for you.