Proper plant and shrub pruning can result in healthier plants. Pruning promotes strong scaffold branching, better air circulation, and reduces potential safety hazards. Plant pruning at the proper time will encourage better flowering and fruit development.
Cut It Out
Arborists recommend removal of dead wood, weak or crossing branches, and co-dominate leaders as a first step in the pruning process. The smaller or younger branches will callous over much faster than larger branches. This prevents intrusion of a pathogen or decay. Branches greater than 4 inches can leave a vulnerable scar for most of the trees life. Removing problem branches early in the tree or shrubs life is critical for the overall health.
Clipped, Snipped, & Whipped
Pruning many woody plants is best done while they are dormant because of disease concerns. Rejuvenating older shrubs can also be accomplished while dormant. Cutting most of the old wood very short stimulates buds to form new stems. It is very stressful for the plants and should be done infrequently. It is better to remove some of the older wood each year and leave a mix of both young and old wood. Shearing trees and shrubs is different and is best done when the plants have completed an active growth stage.
It is more cost effective to prune trees while they are young. Establishing good structure and branch formation in young trees will aid in preventing costly storm damage later. Sometimes the trees become so dangerous and misshaped that removal becomes necessary.
The U.S. Forest Service created a tree owner’s manual (www.treeownersmanual.info) to help people avoid the most common mistakes and be more successful with their tree care. Good structural pruning is recommended no less than 3 times during the first 10 years after planting. Pruning young trees is often over-looked by property owners. Up to 80% of new trees never make it to maturity. Most perish in the first 5 years after planting.
Major Surgery (or Not)
We can’t measure a tree’s pulse or take it’s temperature to diagnose it’s health. Sometimes plants are too weak and tired to be useful in the landscape. Experienced Arborists can make an evaluation and give appropriate recommendations.
Why TURF MAINTENANCE
We are genuinely concerned about your landscape and what your plants need to thrive. Our Arborist and plant care professionals are ready to help. Call us at 507-452-6312 to schedule a consultation or e-mail us [email protected]