Learning When and How to Prune Your Plants for Spring Growth
Brief Description: If you want your flowers
and trees to look gorgeous in the spring and
summer, you need to learn how to properly
prune them during the rest of the year. This
article suggests how you may want to trim
your plants to get the best results.
Pruning and Maintenance
If you want your trees and flowers to look
beautiful and attractive in the spring and
summer months, you need to learn how and
when to prune them in the fall and winter. This can be a tricky thing, as cutting them back can be a
hassle, while maybe them look unattractive.
Most plants benefit from some sort of regular pruning and maintenance. Sometimes you just need to
bite the bullet, and trim them down.
A great many flowering and fruiting plants prefer to be pruned while they are dormant, in late winter
through early spring. Others, like spring blooming trees and shrubs, will start setting new buds as soon
as the old buds have fallen.
These will need to be trimmed shortly after flowering, or you run the risk of cutting off the new buds
with the old—this will defeat the purpose. There are other plants that need to be continually
deadheaded all year round.
Trimming at the wrong time of year may result in less flowers and fruits, but it usually will not harm the
plant in the long run. The exception to this is working too late in the season, and encouraging a lot of
tender, new growth that will be destroyed when the weather gets cold.
Having the Right Tools
To begin with, you need to have the right tools to help you get the job done. Sharp, clean tools not only
make the job easier, but they are crucial to keeping your garden healthy.
The four basic tools required for pruning most plants include hand pruners, loppers, shearers, and saws.
Ask for recommendations on which ones to get from a professional hardware or garden store.
Now you are ready to begin the process. Perhaps
the most confusing group of plants, when it comes
to this task, is flowering trees and shrubs.
Different Kinds Different Times
A general rule is to cut summer and fall flowering
trees and shrubs in the dormant season, and to cut
spring flowering trees and shrubs soon after their
flowers fade. You can look in a gardening or flower
book to know when the blooming and dormant
seasons are for your foliage.
When it comes to your fruit trees and berry plants, most fruiting plants need to be taken care of while
they are dormant. Most flowering plants grown for their ornamental value will still give you some sort of
show, even if you have been lax about regular trimming.
Fruit trees and berries will steadily decline unless they are trimmed and tended. There are several
reasons for this.
Older branches are more susceptible to diseases and pests, and there is a habit of many fruiting plants
to only produce on branches of a certain age. Thus, these varieties need some special care.
When it comes to your beautiful evergreen trees, you do not need to trim them at all, in most cases. If
you do try to cut and shape it, you will just stress and distort the tree.
It is better to choose a smaller, dwarf evergreen than to try to size down a larger tree. However, there
are times when you want an evergreen in your landscape to be a bit fuller—that can be accomplished
with some well timed pruning.
Keep in mind, the larger the tree, the more labor intensive this will be, so do this while the tree is still
young. However, perhaps the most labor intensive ones to prune are the non-woody perennials.
The notion that you can plant perennials once and then have a maintenance-free garden forever is very
false. Most perennials, especially the flowering ones, not only need to be cut back entirely at some point
before or after the growing season, they need regular cutting, shearing, or deadheading.
Which ones to work on and when are things that you can learn from a book, or a professional gardener
or lawn service company. Finding out for yourself can be very fun and rewarding.
Learning how to care for you yard is very relaxing, and you can see the direct benefits and rewards of
your work. It can also help you to get some good fresh air and exercise—take a look at what you can do
in your yard today.
Photo Credit: Freestone, Opticalreflex