An important part of spring pruning is knowing when to prune plants. Proper timing helps to ensure attractive, healthy, and productive plants. Overgrown shrubs can pose hazards to landscaping equipment or passersby. Damaged or diseased limbs on trees should be cut off for safety reasons and to preserve the tree’s health. How to prune and when to do so depends on the tree or shrub species, the time of year, and the reason for pruning. Keep reading for tips pruning overgrown shrubs in the springtime.
Why Should You Prune Your Shrubs?
Pruning your bushes is necessary for most ornamental species at some point. Some require care more often than others, but pruning is essential for shrub ownership. Pruning your shrubs will help direct the plant’s growth, improve or maintain health and vitality, and increase flowering or growth. First-time gardeners may be nervous about trimming their plants, but pruning will not reduce plant growth or stop the plant from growing to its mature size. Keeping your shrubs and plants looking neat to maintain a healthy landscape is important.
Why Timing Matters
Neglected and overgrown spring-flowering shrubs often require extensive pruning to renew the plants. The best time to rejuvenate overgrown shrubs is late winter or early spring, between March and early April. Rejuvenation pruning can restore the health of the shrubs and ensure they stay healthy for the rest of the season. When a shrub is pruned in spring, the softwood has enough time to mature into hardwood before winter. But if pruned too late, the new wood may not have time to grow and may die off over winter.
How to Properly Prune Shrubs
Before you begin pruning, make sure you clean out and remove any dead, diseased, or broken branches off of your plants. To keep the shrub from getting too dense, remove select branches and twigs to thin out those that overlap and grow inward. In fact, doing so can increase the value of your landscape’s appeal. If you have trees and shrubs that do not bloom as well due to lack of pruning, this process will renew them and encourage new flowers to bloom. By cutting the plant back to the ground level, you are essentially creating room for an entirely new plant.
It is also essential to always use the proper tools. If you try to cut large branches with small pruners, you or the plant can get hurt. Make sure you keep your blades sharp, and check out your local hardware store for the best pruner for you.
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