Jul 24 2018
By John Figmic
“I am doing this for your own good.” That’s something you might hear – or say – often in regards to parenting. Have you considered saying it to your plants? A well-known garden talk show host here in New England often advises timid gardeners to walk up to their plants with pruning shears in hand and repeat this phrase. It sounds amusing, but the concept is really quite accurate. Good pruning benefits your landscape plants in many ways and should be part of your regular yard maintenance plan. Pruning in the summer is a great process for shaping plants and providing a solid structure. While heavy pruning is best done in winter, maintaining in the summer offers many benefits. Follow along for a few details.
Size & Shape
Pruning annually in the summer allows you to manage the size of your plants. Evergreens in particular benefit from regular pruning that helps maintain the plant’s proper shape while fitting it to the space that you have. Summer pruning is critical for removing dead or damaged limbs that can cause stress to your plants or trees. This strengthens the chances for robust growth while regulating the size and shape.
Another benefit that you’ll see with regular maintenance pruning is more flowers on summer flowering deciduous plants. Doing so allows more light and nourishment to reach the tree, providing more sustenance and encouraging growth. This is particularly true for fruit trees.
Additionally, proper pruning helps keep an abundance of softer stem growth that resprouts more readily. The stems of many plants – particularly evergreens – harden with age. This older wood is less likely to sprout new growth in the event that the plant is damaged. This is particularly important if the plant has lost branches or is otherwise distressed.
Increase Tree Strength & Stability
Lastly, summer weather is unpredictable and properly pruned trees are more likely to withstand storms. Between heavy rains and strong winds, it’s important to ensure your trees are in the best condition to limit damage to your property from falling limbs.
Just as there are many different plants in the landscape, there are also many different ways to prune those plants. Some plants benefit from a more natural looking hand-pruned approach while others can be maintained with a hedge trimmer or power pruner in a more geometric shape. Matching up the best pruning method to the particular plant in your yard will allow you to add years to the useful life of your plantings while providing the best appearance. Keep in mind that yearly pruning is more cost effective than deferred work and early replacement. Your landscape professional can advise you on how to best prune the plants in your yard.
If you are not sure that you have the tools or the confidence to take on the work yourself, reach out to us and we can help.