There are many different types of trees and shrubs that you can show off in your yard. However, due to factors like extreme New Hampshire weather – or even just the plant’s natural growth cycle – your tree or shrub might not always look its best. Maybe you might want to give your plant a facelift, but don’t have any idea where to start. If that’s the case, a proper pruning strategy might be the best way to tackle an unruly plant. If you are up to the challenge, here are some helpful tips on how to prune trees and shrubs in New Hampshire:
What is pruning, and what does it do?
Put simply, pruning is a horticultural practice used to maintain your tree/shrub’s health and size. Pruning involves removing dead branches from the plant, trimming other branches to stimulate growth to those areas and helping “train” the tree or shrub to grow in a certain shape. This helps your plant dedicate resources to the branches, leaves and flowers that matter—which helps keep your tree or shrub healthy and thriving!
When should you prune your trees and shrubs?
Every tree or shrub is different. That said, most pruning in New Hampshire will take place either in late winter or late summer, after the threat of extreme weather is past. By pruning during these time frames, you’ll give your shrub the best chance at natural healing. With flowering shrubs, it’s best to wait until after they’ve bloomed–you don’t want to cut off budding flowers before you’ve had a chance to see them!
How should pruning be done?
Very carefully! Incorrect pruning can train your tree or shrub to develop an unmanageable shape. In addition, if you prune away too much, you’ll risk damaging your plant. There are many in-depth resources online that you can use to learn about pruning, but here are a few quick tips:
- Determine the plant’s natural shape. By pruning back to where old growth was last year, you promote a natural growth pattern for your tree or shrub.
- Remove any dead growth. Dead branches prevent live branches from replacing them. Cut them out as close to the base as you can.
- Less is more. Once you’ve removed the dead growth, you can move on to shaping the plant. Make cuts carefully—don’t take off too much at one time, and always be stepping back to evaluate how the tree or shrub looks before and after you make a cut. Cuts should be made at a slight angle, about a ½” above a growing bud.
There’s a definite art to hand pruning, and it takes practice knowing what to cut and how much to take off. If the thought of pruning makes you uneasy, don’t worry! Our experienced maintenance team offers a wide range of tree and shrub pruning. You can get in touch with us here: https://groundhognh.com/contact-us/ or give us a call at (603) 437-4464. We look forward to helping your yard look its best!