For some homeowners, yard work is an enjoyable hobby, while others prefer to hire a professional to save time and hassle. Either way, it’s important to realize that there are different forms of pruning and each plant has a pruning technique that is most beneficial to that variety of plant, shrub or tree.
In pruning shrubs, knowledge on the variety being trimmed is a must in order to prune properly. Hardy shrubs such as Viburnum, can be shaped with hedge trimmers in a manicured shape. On the other hand, shrubs such as Junipers need to be spot trimmed to shape the plant properly. Another type of shrub known as Arboricola is best cut by its stem rather than its leaves to help it grow thicker. Overall, the key to pruning shrubs is to knowing the needs of each variety for best results.
Trees require more precise pruning, trimming only the limbs or fronds that need to be removed for the overall look and growth of the tree. Crape Myrtles need to be manicured into trees for several years and can then be topped off each year to maintain a desired height or left to grow into a larger tree. Palms require pruning to remove dead fronds and seed pods for aesthetics and to help keep the seed pods from littering the ground beneath them while over-pruning can cause disease and deficiency. Other trees may require very minimal pruning only to remove dead, unhealthy or overgrown limbs.
Landscape plants come in all shapes, sizes and varieties and there are specific ways to prune each plant properly. If pruned improperly some plants will become stunted or possibly die. Each variety is different so it’s important to know each specific variety of plant in your landscape to keep them thriving and looking their best.