10 Reasons Why You Should Prune Trees and Shrubs

10 Reasons Why You Should Prune Trees & Shrubs

by Chris McLaughlin

Practicing simple techniques, using the right tools, along with proper timing for each plant species is the key to effective pruning and most require very little pruning in order to achieve the gardener’s goal. But before taking sharp tools to your plants, you should understand exactly what those goals are and why you’re pruning them in the first place.

Remember that every cut made will alter the plant’s shape and growth. In fact, the list below addresses the many reasons that any tree or shrub should be pruned in the yard or garden. If you are interested in having your trees or bushes trimmed, remember that you can use a service like TreeSurgeon.Care to help. Here are ten great reasons for pruning your trees (including fruiting) and shrubs:

Vigor – Pruning a growing shoot stimulates new growth production. So if you’re looking for some vigorous new growth on a shrub, prune it hard (a lot). Consider this type of pruning when you have a shrub that has a weak section of growth; such as the back. In fact, when you “pinch” back new growth with your fingers on any plant, you’re actually pruning.

Shape – Plants that have grown out of balance with either the yard or their own growing pattern (such as stray and awkward branches) can be reshaped by pruning.

Restrict a Plant’s Size – This can be especially important if you live in an area with restricted space. Gardeners living in urban and suburban areas almost always have to perform some pruning to keep trees and shrubs from out-growing the yard, garden, or container. Root-pruning is another technique that can help restrict the size of plants in containers.

Let in More Light – If you have an extremely shady yard or you’d like to have more sun reaching the area under a tree for plants or lawn, careful pruning can let in a little extra sunshine.

Health and Structural Soundness – Any diseased, injured, dying, or dead branches should be removed for the health of the tree. Branches that rub together should be removed to eliminate potential damage to a main branch. Much of maintaining structural soundness in a tree is about careful pruning practices such as not “topping” trees. Topping can make the tree weak and susceptible to pests. It’s also associated with the slow death even if it takes years for the tree to actually die.

Create Special Effects – Pruning for special effects is most often seen in formal-type gardens. They often take the shape of boxwood (Buxus spp.) topiary, or an apple tree that’s been trained as an espalier. Pollarding or coppicing pruning techniques may be used, as well.

Encourage Flowering and Fruit – Pruning can coax growth spurs (produces the flowers and the fruit) to form on the branches. Strong flower buds are also encouraged to form due to pruning. Fruit trees can be lightly pruned in the summer which will provide better air circulation around the fruit. This results in less trouble with fruit diseases and the fruit ripens faster.

Protect People and Property – Trees that have been planted near homes, sheds, play structures, and other buildings propose a potential threat to human safety if heavy branches break off or the tree falls. They can also interfere with telephone or power lines. Proper pruning can keep people, pets, and property safe.

Keep Evergreens Proportionate – Pruning will keep boundary hedges under control. Evergreens benefit from light pruning as it keeps their foliage dense, and therefore, attractive.

Improve Appearance – Many gardeners’ top priority when pruning their plants is about their appearance in the yard or garden. Removing dead, unwanted branches, as well as suckers creates a pleasing shape and leaves plants looking neat and tidy. Many lovely blooming shrubs such the Butterfly Bush (Buddleia spp.) are capable of spectacular blossom displays due to good pruning techniques.

Usually pruning is about working with a plant’s natural growth pattern as it’s developing, as well as maintaining mature tree and shrub species. One of the few exceptions is when it’s used to create effects such as espalier. In general, a successful pruning job will leave your healthy, beautifully-shaped fruit trees or shrubs looking like they haven’t been touched at all.

 
12 replies
  1. Heidi Bookenstock
    Heidi Bookenstock says:

    There’s a large apple tree in my front yard. I’ve been advice to prune it, but it’s so big, I would hate to trim it down. I appreciate the advice in this article, it’s a good idea to prune the tree so that there will be better air circulation around the fruit.

     
    Reply
  2. Taylor Bishop
    Taylor Bishop says:

    Thanks for explaining some benefits to pruning. It’s good to know that pruning a tree can help restrict the size of plants in containers. This seems very helpful if you have a limited space and don’t want your places to grow too much.

     
    Reply
  3. Sariah Meagle
    Sariah Meagle says:

    Restoring my tree’s vigor as you mentioned is something I’ve wanted to do but don’t know how so I’ll consider hiring a tree pruning service for that. I do agree that they’ll prune enough to boost its health and structural soundness as you pointed out so that it can grow healthily. If they can improve its appearance as you suggest, it would make me a happy tree owner.

     
    Reply
  4. Penelope Smith
    Penelope Smith says:

    I liked that you pointed out that pruning a tree will help it stay healthy. That is a good thing for me to know because I have a lot of trees in my backyard. I will have to get someone to prune the trees for me.

     
    Reply
  5. tree trimming
    tree trimming says:

    Tree trimming or pruning is a Technic that requires both skill and knowledge for the desired results. Some of the reasons for trimming include; maintaining a tree’s shape and appearance, human safety and saving an infected tree by strategically pruning all limbs and branches affected by diseases. Pruning tools include; secateurs for young branches vines and flowers, loppers for branches up to 3 inches thick, pruning saws for branches up to 5 inches thick’ hedge shears for hedges and pole pruners for dead wood. Before embarking on the trimming process, it’s essential that one understands the vital tips for proper pruning.
    Thanks.

     
    Reply
  6. youtube
    youtube says:

    There are many tips and techniques that you need to know about if you are going to be trimming your trees. It is important that you assess if you should be trimming the trees yourself or if it would be safer to hire a professional to do this. It is also important that you know the correct technique because this will impact the health of your trees. Click here for more information at tree disease Fort Worth.

     
    Reply
  7. Immigration attorney
    Immigration attorney says:

    Chain saw-there are gas and electric powered chain saws but the one that is most popular for trimming trees is the gas-powered one. It is ideal for shaping the trees. It is a common piece of equipment used to trim trees and it comes in different sizes. They can trim any tree. The blade size that you select should meet your requirements.
    Thanks.

     
    Reply
  8. Brooklyn Johnson
    Brooklyn Johnson says:

    I like how you mentioned that trees that have been planted near homes, and other buildings propose a potential threat to human safety if heavy branches break off or the tree falls. I have a huge tree in my yard that is towering over my house, and I’m scared that if we have a bad storm it could fall on our house. I will definitely take your advice and get my tree pruned to prevent disaster from happening.

     
    Reply
  9. Mia Stewart
    Mia Stewart says:

    I like how the article explains that trimming your trees can help to improve their appearance. My trees haven’t been trimmed in a while and they are starting to look overgrown and not attractive. I will look into hiring someone to come and trim my trees.

     
    Reply
  10. Dennis Sanchez
    Dennis Sanchez says:

    My wife and I recently moved into a home with some trees that look like they are struggling to grow. I’m glad you talked about how pruning can stimulate new growth in plants. I’ll have to contact a professional service to prune those trees for me.

     
    Reply

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