Best Practices Of Pruning
How are your trees and plants looking this March? We had a few tough weeks in the winter and it’s time to assess the damage and prune your greenery.
Let’s begin with some definitions; there’s a difference between trimming and pruning. Trimming can be done at any time of year; it’s when you make small cuts to a plant or tree, mostly to enhance its shape.
Pruning is different, especially a hard pruning. This involves cutting up to one-third or even half of a plant or tree. Hard pruning should only be done in our warm months.
Scratch your trees
Mid-March is the best time to prune in Central Florida. Our plants and trees haven’t started growing yet, and it’s easier to spot damaged limbs. An easy way to tell what’s dead is a scratch test. Grab your questionable limb and scratch off the top layer of bark with your fingernail; if you see green, it’s alive; if it’s brown, say good-bye, that branch is dead and should be pruned.
When it comes to pruning, don’t be afraid to make your cuts. It’s essential to prune all dead material, but don’t stop there. Hard pruning prepares your trees and shrubs for the real growing season.
Plants grow fast in our neighborhoods, sometimes too quick and too thick for their landscape beds. The next thing you know, your Bougainvillea is covering part of the walkway. A hard pruning now, will get the leaves from blocking your paths.
A hard pruning also allows your favorite plants to reinvent themselves. Trimming just removes a few inches, and the new growth looks a lot like the old growth. After a hard pruning, many shrubs, plants, and trees come back with a unique, lush appearance. And think of it as more work now and less later. If you cut a lot now, you’ll have less trimming to do during the rainy months, and there’s already more than enough yard work to do in the summer.
While you think about the benefits of pruning, keep this in mind; not everything takes it very well. Some plants such as Thyrallis should be pruned gradually, and there are even some shrubs that shed their dead limbs on their own and should never be cut back.
As you just read, pruning, especially hard pruning, is important, and we know it can be hard work. That’s where we come in. Our crews know exactly how much to prune and what should and shouldn’t be cut.
Let us use our tools, experience, and passion to get your property pruned and ready for what could be a remarkable season for your landscape.