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Learn the Best Techniques for Pruning and Trimming Shrubs

Gloved Hand Using Pruning Shears on a Small Branch

Gloved Hand Using Pruning Shears on a Small Branch

Check out the Best Techniques for Pruning and Trimming Shrubs and other lawn care tips from Fit Turf's blog.

Maintaining shrubs and trees in your yard is a bit trickier than maintaining your grass, but their attractive look makes them worth the extra effort. Even if you use a professional lawn care service such as Fit Turf’s personalized program, you’ll likely still want to trim your shrubs in between visits. Here are some of the best techniques to use when you prune your shrubs and bushes.

  • While many people trim their trees and shrubs in the spring and summer when it’s warm out, it’s actually best to trim your trees in the wintertime. When the branches are bare, it’s easier to see the structure of your trees and bushes and really know where to cut them back.
  • When looking for branches to trim, check out which ones are growing in to other branches or ones that have significant cracks in the bark. You can also check out which branches are pointing abruptly downward, as this may mean that they’ve previously sustained a very heavy snow load.
  • Look for internal wood decay, because this may cause damage to the rest of the tree. Signs like mushrooms or fruiting bodies indicate internal decay, so be sure to remove these branches.
  • Remove deadwood to prevent insect infestations from taking over the tree. Insects commonly like to live in dry, decayed areas, so you’ll want to remove these dead portions to keep the bugs out.
  • Consider the hazards that your tree may pose. If you’re working with a large tree rather than a small shrub or bush, cut back any low-hanging branches that look like they may fall on your house or other structures.
  • No matter what you do, don’t over-prune your tree! Things like excessive thinning or “topping” can destroy the health of the tree, which is why you should always leave any serious pruning to the professionals.

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