Fall is here and there are plenty of chores to do around the yard. Homeowners know that the work you put into your yard now pays off in the spring. However, one area of the yard is often overlooked; your shrubs and bushes. Here is a guide for everything you need to know about proper shrub care.
When is The Best Time to Prune
The best time to prune your bushes is while the tree is dormant in the winter or before bud break in the spring. This is because shrubs heal faster when they are dormant. Pruning the right branches will help improve airflow for the central branches and encourage new branches and leaf growth.
Get Rid of Bad Branches
When pruning bushes, remember to start with the dead and damaged branches. Not only are they unsightly but they can attract pests and diseases. Pruning helps the bush divert nutrients from unnecessary branches to other branches resulting in a boost of growth.
Other branches to remove are:
- Limbs that sag or grow close to the ground
- Branches that form an acute angle with the trunk
- Limbs that compete with the tree’s central leader
Control Bush Size
If you aren’t paying attention your bushes can grow out of control. The longer you wait to prune or trim your shrubs the harder it will become next year when the branches get bigger. It’s important to control the size of your shrubs and bushes so they don’t overgrow and cause you problems later down the line and have to be removed.
Removing a Bush
Sometimes things happen that you don’t anticipate and your shrubs that were once small and tame are now out of control and threaten to damage your home or other structures. If you need to remove a bush here is an easy method.
Start by digging around the root ball and cut all the roots that you can. Then lay down two pieces of plywood on either side of the roots. Place a jack stand on one side and set a jack on the other side. Place a beam across them and tie the root to the center of the beam with a chain. As you start raising the jack the beam will start to rise and pull the roots. As more roots are exposed, cut them and continue to raise the jack until the bush is free.
Cut a Branch at the Collar
The collar is the bumped up area where a branch merges with the central truck of the plant. When you trim, make sure that you cut the limb at the collar. The bark will naturally grow over the wound and protect it from pests and disease.
Prune One-Third of a Bush’s Canes
Bushes with canes that regrow each year like hydrangeas and forsythia need the most attention. Left unattended you will see dead branches poking out through your beautiful blooms next year. You want to cut out the oldest woodiest stems to control the shape of the bush. Cut new shoots if you need to control the width.
Make Pine Valley your first choice for Lawn Care
If you need help with your trees and shrubs, the professionals at Pine Valley Turf are here to help. Our tree and shrub nutrition program is designed to feed and protect your trees and ornamentals so that they look their best.