Why should you prune?
Pruning helps to maintain size, improve structural strength, maintain health, and increase the overall value of your landscape. Proper pruning also encourages fuller growth and blooms. Shrubs that are not flowering well, may also be pruned to remove old wood in favor of younger growth.
What should you prune?
Prune out any dead, diseased, or dying branches. The longer these branches are left on, the more damage that can be done. Removal of any rubbing or compressed branches is also recommended.
For newer trees, prune as little as possible for the first 2-3 years except for dead, diseased and dying wood. After 3 years, remove any suckers from the base. Lower branches can also be removed for clearance.
Not all mature trees need pruning, therefore it is advisable to seek a qualified individual who is a member of an organization such as the International Society of Arboriculture when such work is required.
When should you prune?
All dead, diseased, and dying wood can be pruned at any time of the year. Generally, pruning should not be done while the shrub or tree is in bloom.
Some shrubs can be pruned in early spring to shape and encourage new growth while other shrubs should be pruned in late fall when the plant has gone dormant. Check with your local horticultural professional to be sure of the best time to prune.
Use by-pass hand pruners for clean, accurate cuts. Cuts larger than 1/2" in diameter should be made with lopping shears or a pruning saw. Remember to keep your pruning tools clean and sharp.
Remember that proper pruning increases the structural strength, enhances beauty, and increases the value of you trees and shrubs. Please visit the International Society of Arboriculture for more information.