Now for the fun. This Tuesdays post is all about bushes and trees; how and when to prune and more. Let’s jump right in.
A. Short answer – Yes. But let’s look a bit more at the question. Interestingly enough, winter is the best time to prune your bushes, even in the parts of the country where our winters are mild. Even though most people do it in the early spring or in the summer, it’s actually better to do it in the winter, and here’s why.
It’s better to prune your bushes in the winter, because all the leaves have fallen. Now that your bush is basically naked, you can see which branches need to be cut away. You will also be able to see the natural form better, which will allow you to properly trim for better growth. It’s also best to do it in the winter, because this is when your bush will be dormant. If pruning is done properly, you can expert more flowers and healthier leaves during the spring and the summer, as well.
Pruning is important to the bush’s health, so ensure that you follow the right procedure. Remove all branches that are dead or dying, and cut below the diseased, if any, areas on your bushes. It’s best to do this when the bush is not wet. If there is snow on the bush, brush it all off and wait at least a day. If you prune while your bush is wet, it could spread disease to the rest of the branches.
A. Well Wayne, even though in the last question I said that the best time to prune bushes is in the winter, that is a generalization. Look, pruning your bushes is important, and I know that we are often tempted to jump right in and start cutting. We want to prune so that our bushes don’t grow too large, but pruning should only be done during the resting or dormant period of you bush. Remember, you’re helping the bushes to grow out naturally, not shaping or shearing them like you do with hedges.
The biggest tip I can give you is to keep in mind that not all bushes have the same pruning schedule so do your research before you begin to cut.
How Can You Know When to Prune Your Bushes?
First of all, when you do major pruning depends on the type of bush you have. Some require different pruning schedules than others, if any pruning at all. In fact, you may have a type of bush that has minimal growth and stops growing at a certain point, and may not need pruning at all.
Secondly, you’re going to need to figure out when your bush goes into its dormant period, which for most bushes is when it will need to be pruned. For example, for some bushes winter pruning may destroy the bloom in the current year, so ensure that you know what type your bush is, it’s dormant period, and how it needs to be pruned before you do anything to it.
If you have a bush that blooms during the spring with flowers, then you must prune your bush as soon as their blossoming period has ended. This maximizes the time that the bush will need for future growth next spring.
Pruning a bush the wrong way will affect how it grows next year. Remember, you are pruning to help the natural growth, and not to shrink it down to a smaller size. Get the facts before you do anything.
A. Great question, Lennard, you are right there is a ton of info online about pruning fruit trees but not much about pruning the rest of your trees. Let me see if I can offer a bit of help.
Pruning keeps your plants in good shape, literally. This is usually done for ornamental garden trees to keep both healthy and attractive. The changing of seasons, especially when transitioning into autumn and then winter, will show that all the shrubs and trees in your yard will need a little bit of pruning. Are you going to burn all of your money hiring tree care services when you can do this simple task by yourself?
The basics in maintaining your garden and yard is something we can all handle, trust me, you can handle it. The instructions that follow will hopefully be of some help especially to beginners that try to prove their worth in providing their own tree care services.
1. Before starting to prune, you must secure permission from local authorities to prevent any penalties you might incur with trees that are close to municipal utilities.
2. Wear your safety gear. As with any job, it is very important that you prioritize your safety over anything else. Wearing protective gloves as well as safety glasses and a helmet will ensure that no sharp stray chips will cause you injuries. (I have learned this the hard way – learn from my mistakes).
3. Before starting, you should already have an idea of what you want the tree or shrub to look like. Take a step back and plan. A little more time spent thinking about the design is better than having months of unbalanced, misshapen ornamental trees in your backyard.
4. Start by removing all damaged, ailing, and dead branches. These shoots may endanger the integrity of the whole plant. Then follow up with removing the weak branches.
5. Now, with a cleaned tree, take a step back and repeat step 3.
6. Tree care service professionals gave me a healthy tip about cutting the shoots: You have to cut just over a healthy bud, an outward facing bud or branch if possible, to avoid branches growing in the brush, eventually promoting congestion and rubbing among the branches. – This is a great tip. Here are a few more tips:
8. If you are planning to remove larger, harder, older branches, an undercut should be done first, at about a foot to a foot and a half away from the trunk. This is then followed with an overcut. Doing this will ensure the production of a clean stub, tearing of the bark is prevented which is good because tearing leads to much more damage than does a clean cut.
9. When removing the stub, you should also do an undercut first, just outside a slight swelling that marks the joint of the branch to the trunk. This is then followed with another overcut which meets the undercut. You should avoid cutting the swelling (also called a branch collar) because this marks the area where healing begins and cutting the collar will damage the tree.
Well there we go. I hope this information on pruning is useful and be sure to keep sending in your questions!