Summer Pruning Blog
Summer is almost upon us and spring growth is coming to an end. It is time to begin thinking about summer pruning! One of our favorite things to do at Hope Grows is summer pruning. There is much satisfaction gained from shaping and cutting back new growth to create the perfect healthy plant or tree.
What is pruning?
Pruning is the process of removing dead branches and stems to create room for growth of new life. Most pruning takes place in the summer, but not all plants and trees should be pruned in the summer. Trees and shrubs that flower in the summer instead of spring should be pruned in the winter or early spring.
Benefits of pruning
- The greatest benefit of pruning is to maintain the health of plants, trees, and shrubs. By cutting off the dead branches, stems, and flowers the plant/tree is allowed to grow elsewhere.
- Pruning can allow you to manage the size of plants and trees.
- Pruning allows more sunlight to reach other plants, trees, and grass, thus saving other greenery.
- Shrubs can be completely reshaped for aesthetic purposes.
- Flower and fruit growth can be manipulated by pruning and increase or decrease the shape, size, and quantity of fruit.
Dead or yellow leaves should be cut or pulled off the plant to prevent pests from infesting the plant. Heading and thinning are two techniques used to prune plants. Some plants require the old dying flowers to be cut off before new flower growth occurs. Heading annuals and perennials will produce more flowers that bloom longer. This will carry into to the next growing season for perennials. Southern Living describes how to head properly. When the plant has multiple buds growing along the stems, cut just below spent flowers to create blooms further down the stems. If the plant has stems with singular flowers, you can cut the stem to the base of the plant. Thinning is removing the bulk from plants to make the appearance nicer and prevent disease. You can do this by cutting unwanted stems to the base of the plant. If this is an invasive plant, you can cut back the outside stems and keep the plant where it is but just make thinner. It is ok to remove up to 1/3 of stems from a plant.
Trees and shrubs
Cuts should have a smooth edge just beyond the branch collar. All cuts on branches should be less than 2 inches in diameter. When pruning young trees and shrubs be sure to cut branches that are crossed or inward growing. Shrubs should keep their natural shape. Loppers or hand pruners can be used and avoid shearing flowering shrubs with hedge shears
Most hedges should be pruned late spring, early fall, or winter. It is not recommended to prune during hot and dry weather. When pruning hedges, the bottom should be wider than the top to allow sunlight to reach the bottom branches to improve growth.
Tools to use for Pruning
Gardenersworld.com recommends the following tools for pruning:
- Folding prune saw
- Hand shears
- Topiary shears
- Long-reach pruners
Why use a professional?
It takes some experience to know which trees, plants, and shrubs need pruning at what point in time. It can be stressful knowing where and how to cut for the best new growth. Improper pruning can damage trees. Lastly and most importantly, it is a time saver!
Hope Grows can get you on a regular summer schedule for pruning and other yard maintenance. Pruning requires time and we understand many people don’t have the time to care for their plants and trees the way they would like. We are ready to help, call us today for an estimate or visit our website at https://hopegrows.us. For more information on tools visit https://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/choose-tools/the-best-tools-for-pruning/ For more information on technique visit https://southernlivingplants.com/planting-care/pruning-101-how-to-prune-annuals-and-perennials/