As colorful blossoms start elevating spirits after a long winter, it’s a good time to make sure pruning your spring flowering shrubs is included in your landscape maintenance plan–especially since spring is the busiest season for your commercial landscape services provider, and timing is key (we’ll elaborate more on this shortly).
How important is pruning?
While it’s obvious that pruning is aesthetically valuable; even more importantly, pruning keeps your shrubs and trees beautiful, healthy and long-lived, when it’s performed properly. What does proper pruning look like?
Ins and outs of proper pruning
First, let’s distinguish the difference between pruning and trimming. Trimming is simply cutting back overgrowth, while pruning is the more involved act of removing old growth including loose, diseased, or dead stems and branches. Both are crucial to maintaining plant health and appearance but take place at different times of the year and require different tools and techniques.
Pruning is incredibly beneficial because:
- Getting rid of old growth redirects vital nutrients to stimulate new growth, extending the life of your shrubbery.
- Thinning the branches enables sunlight to better reach interior growth, discouraging rot and disease.
- It reinvigorates the shrub, causing it to produce more flowers.
Although it may not be necessary to prune every shrub every year, it should happen regularly, or your flowering shrubs will stop producing as the growth ages.
Every shrub should be trimmed at the proper time
As we mentioned earlier, timing is key, because different shrubbery varieties have different requirements. There are basically three different types of shrubs:
Early blooming shrubs, which blossom on “old wood” in the spring. Their flower buds actually formed the previous summer and wintered over to open up in the early spring. They should be pruned in the springtime, immediately after they’re finished blooming before they put on next year’s buds.
Late blooming shrubs that flower in the summer form their buds the same year they blossom, so are considered to be “new wood” bloomers. The time to prune summer and fall blooming shrubbery is late winter before they start to bud out in the spring.
Everblooming shrubs like certain varieties of hydrangea actually bloom on old wood in the spring and the bloom again on new wood in the summer. These eye-catching shrubberies should be pruned right after blooming before the stem has an opportunity to bud again.
Trust your flowering shrubs to the professionals
If this seems like a lot to keep track of, it is. Additionally, not only is it important to understand the proper timing for pruning each shrubbery variety, knowing how and which tools to use requires skill and expertise. For example:
- How do you recognize which stems and branches should stay, and which should go?
- What percentage of the shrub is it safe to remove without pruning too much?
- Which tools are going to be least damaging and most effective?
- At what angle and where on the branch should you make the cut to ensure optimum plant health?
As a commercial property manager or owner these details can overwhelm to your already overflowing to-do list–especially when you can trust it to a commercial landscape management partner like your local U.S. Lawns.
Check with your landscape services provider to confirm pruning services on your landscape maintenance schedule today. And, if you’re interested in learning more about the comprehensive commercial landscape maintenance services U.S. Lawns offers, get in touch. We’ll come and walk your grounds with you and make perfectly timed pruning services a part of your customized commercial landscape maintenance schedule, so you can get the most out of your blooming shrubs season after season.