Do you have shrubs that are getting out of control? Shrub pruning will not only assist in maintaining a tidy landscape, but it is also recommended to help your shrubs perform their best. Proper pruning, also known as “trimming”, helps promote optimal plant health.
Of course, the keyword is “proper.” The truth is, there are many shrub pruning mistakes that can be made and trimming shrubs properly is essential to their overall performance.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize just how complex shrub pruning can be.
Whether you’re ready to tackle shrub trimming on your own or you’re just worried that your landscape professional will make an error, here are three pruning mistakes to watch out for:
1. Using the Wrong Pruning Tools or Techniques
A lot of people don’t realize that different shrubs require different pruning techniques. In fact, if we really wanted to get technical, we could probably write a different blog article about each and every common shrub out there and how to prune it. However, since we know you just want the basics, we’ll leave it at that.
Despite the fact that tools and pruning methods should be varied, a lot of homeowners (and sometimes even landscape pros) will use gas or electric-powered shears on everything.
But some shrubs, such as Rhododendron, need to be pruned by hand with a precise pruning instrument. It’s important that you and your landscape professional understand which varieties might require hand-pruning and which do not.
It’s also very important that your pruning and trimming tools are sharp. This is one of the hassles of DIY shrub pruning as you may not know where to go to get your tools sharpened or you may not feel like standing in a long line to do so. But trimming shrubs with dull tools can cause damage.
2. Pruning Shrubs at the Wrong Time
Another common pruning mistake is doing it at the wrong time. When it comes to pruning shrubs properly, the timing matters. Though it may be tempting to get out there on a weekend and prune everything at once, that could actually wind up hurting your plants. Many people wonder when they should prune their bushes, the answer is different plants need to be pruned at different times.
Azaleas, for instance, only have a four to six week window of when pruning is acceptable. After that, they begin to set flower buds for a new season. If you prune too late, you could ruin their flowering ability or even leave them prone to disease or insect problems.
3. Not Pruning Shrubs Frequently Enough
There are many benefits to regular and ongoing pruning, including improved plant health. But oftentimes, homeowners wait until shrubs look terrible and only then do they decide it’s time to trim. We understand that life gets busy and keeping up with pruning may be “put off.” That’s why getting on a regular rotation with a professional shrub pruning service can be beneficial.
Pruning less of the plant but more frequently is optimal. Ideally, we recommend every other month, which comes out to be five times per year. This is the sweet spot for pruning and will help keep everything looking and performing its best.
In fact, shrubs grow thicker when you prune more regularly. Frequent pruning makes slight “injuries” to the plant which forces it to put its energy into growing (to recover). In turn, this helps thicken up your shrubs.
Another benefit to pruning more often is that it helps keep the plants looking more natural and less obvious that they’ve been pruned. It’s a lot like getting a haircut. It would be a very obvious difference—long then suddenly short. But regular pruning maintains more of a consistent, attractive look.
Looking for a Shrub Pruning Service in Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA?
Chances are, you don’t want to have to worry about all of the hassles associated with handling shrub pruning on your own. You may not have realized how complicated it could be or just how many nuances are involved with pruning the right way.
To avoid all of the common pruning mistakes, you may be thinking about hiring a pro.
Of course, you realize that a professional could still potentially make some of these mistakes. That’s why you want to choose one who knows how to properly handle all of your shrub trimming and pruning needs. By doing so, you not only hand over the hassles associated with this service but you’ll also wind up with superior results that will help your landscape to continue looking and performing its best.
Are you ready to ditch the worries associated with keeping your shrubs well maintained? Get started today! Request a quote, get your customized plan, and relax as you let us get to work.