First of All, HAPPY SPRING!
We are a little late on that… we know. Springtime always takes us by storm—sometimes literally! We have been SO busy pruning and cleaning things up, that when we looked up it was mid-April already. And while things in the Berkshires are looking to be getting an early start budding & blooming—have no fear—there is still time to prune!
What is Pruning & Why Do it?
Pruning is the strategic cutting back and removal of select branches, stems, or parts of a plant or tree for a desired beneficial effect. Done correctly, it promotes the health and production of the plant—yielding more fruit and/or flowers that last longer.
Berkshire Greenscapes, and many other serious gardeners, also prune for aesthetics. Shrubs and trees can easily go a little crazy when left untamed, taking over a space or changing shape for a more disheveled look… NOT what we are going for!
Benefits of Pruning Include:
Now, HOW Do You Prune?
We’ll show you! Let’s get started with some pruning basics, like when to prune, what you need, and how to make the cuts.
When to prune?
- You can start pruning in the early, early Spring, and need not be afraid to prune all the way to bloom time.
Really?! Pruning when it’s blooming?
- If you want to! It won’t hurt the tree, and in fact you can enjoy some of the flowering branches as floral arrangements.
What about pruning in the winter?
- You certainly prune when it is still wintery, just before spring. Many people prefer this as the tree is dormant at this time, and it is easy to heal from pruning cuts.
What Do You Need to Prune?
You’ll need pruners! Preferably a variety, depending on what you are pruning. We use hand-held pruners, extendable pruners, pruning saws and also extendable pruning saws. The hand-held snippers provide the most control, and are highly recommended, however you sometimes need the help of extendable pruners for trees to snip any branches out of reach.
We use saws for removing large branches and nubs that our snips just can’t get.
Making the Cut
Scary for first-timers, we know! But stay confident, go slow, and just use common sense – you GOT this! Here’s the biggest things to look for when you are pruning trees:
Pruning Your Shrubs
Your shrubs can generally take a pretty good chop. Your goal here is mainly shaping, and of course always removing any dead plant material. You can make some strategic cuts to give your shrub some breathing room… think of opening it up so more of it can see the sun.
Check out our example here, where we are pruning a hydrangea.