Early Spring Tips – Pruning

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Early Spring Tips – Pruning

Spring is an excellent time to prune most plant material.  Cutting large and overgrown plant material back, removing dead wood and old braches to rejuvenate shrubs, thinning and shaping tree canopies and cutting down ornamental grasses are just of few of the things that can be accomplished.  The number one item not to prune in early spring is a lilac.  Trimming them in the spring will cut off the blooms before they open.  Lilacs should be trimmed as soon as they are done flowering for the year.  And just a note on ornamental grasses…they should be cut as low to the ground as possible.  Leaving even 3 – 4” of dead stalks can inhibit the growth of the new blades.  Often people will complain that the center of their grasses have died out…this is because they were not cut low enough for the grass to fill back in.

Most trees required a proper pruning at least once every five years.  Shrub materials should be done yearly.  Screening plants like large shrubs and some evergreens should also be pruned at least every couple of years to keep them looking healthy and prevent them from becoming “woody”.

Many people are scared to trim their plants.  They are afraid of taking too much off or not enough.  And while you may not be the best at shaping your plants, you are rarely going to kill them by trimming them incorrectly.  Many people do not have the proper tools for trimming, especially large plants.  If you are going to prune your own plants, make sure to use the proper tools, otherwise you may be making more work for yourself the following year.

As always, if you are not a do-it-yourself type of person or are unsure of what to do, call in an expert.  Do not let your plant material go wild just because you didn’t want to prune it wrong.  A properly maintained landscape can last many years but landscapes that become too overgrown often have to be completely ripped out.  Starting over with a new landscape will be much more expensive than having your plants properly pruned.  Call for spring pruning in March and April to have it done before landscaping season is in full swing.  Early season discounts will usually apply.  Large trees especially are much easier to prune if the pruning is done when there are no leaves on the trees.

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