Pruning: The Basics

Spring is definitely on its way and one of the first projects in the garden is pruning of ornamental trees and shrubs. Here are some basic suggestions to make the job easier and productive.

1.       Have the proper tools for the jobs. This means an assortment of tools, including hand pruners, loppers, hand saw, and if you are pruning taller trees, as pole pruner.

2.       Have your tools cleaned and sharpened before you begin! Trust me, this makes the job much easier on you and your plants!

3.       Ask yourself “Why am I thinking of pruning this plant?” Is it really too big for the space? Is it crowding other plants? Make sure you are pruning for the right reasons.

4.       Look at the natural shape of the plant and prune to maintain that habit. Don’t try to make that weeping cherry something it is not!

5.       Finally, DON’T prune your spring bloomers right now. Leave those lilacs, forsythia, rhododendrons, fragrant viburnums and other spring bloomers alone until AFTER they bloom.

You will make it easier on yourself if you allow your trees and shrubs to grow and develop naturally – you won’t have to prune as often and you will have more time to enjoy the beauty of these residents of your gardens. And if you are still unsure, just let me know any questions you have – I am always happy to help!