We like shrubs- they look nice, are quite durable, and require little to no maintenance. And when we say durable, we mean it; shrubs are an ideal option for landscaping in Duluth. The only regular maintenance shrubs do require is trimming/pruning- nobody wants them five meters high. Here is how to do it correctly:
Proper Tools- Don’t Start Trimming Without The Essentials
Your trimming/pruning checklist must include these:
- Gloves- dirt, calluses, insects, thorns- a good pair of gloves will keep your gentle hands gentle.
- Hand-held pruners- these will do most of the work. They are precise and sharp. A good quality hand-held pruner will cut almost any branch. Just watch those fingers!
- Saw- if you have a neglected shrub, you will have some thick, sturdy branches that will break a hand pruner. Saw it out!
- Loppers- hand-held pruners are for more delicate work, but once you finish the fine-tuning, cut the rest with loppers.
- Hedge trimmer- this tool will save you so much time- especially since you are supposed to trim hedges multiple times per year. Get the one with an extended reach; you don’t have to climb those pesky ladders.
Know Your Shrub- You Can’t Trim Them All At The Same Time
Most shrubs share similar looks, but are considerably different- they come all across the globe. The main difference is flowering time- some flower in spring, some in late summer or autumn. The first group should be pruned right after they bloom. The second group should be pruned early in the spring before the growth starts. Follow these two simple rules, and your shrub will be healthy and look awesome.
Pruning For Thickness
Most of us don’t want our shrubs to grow vertically; instead, we wish that horizontal thickness. Thankfully, biology made this quite easy- just cut off the “terminal bud”. That is that soft, green branch tip. Terminal bud produces hormones that affect the growth of side branches. By removing it, we “train” the plant to grow thicker, instead of higher. On the contrary, if you want height, leave the terminal bud alone.
Pruning Accurately- The Right Cut Makes A Huge Difference.
Manual pruning takes time, but nothing will improve your shrub’s health better. Besides, you don’t have to do it all at once. Prune at a 45-degree angle (not flat!), just above the bud- the lower side of the cut should be on the opposite side of a bud. Don't go either too high or too low. A precision cut will encourage the plant to heal faster. But be aware- make sure you use a clean tool. If you are cutting a diseased branch, you can spread the infection on other, healthy branches, by using a contaminated pruner. It is vital to disinfect after every single cut. Too much hassle? Duluth landscapers can do the trimming/pruning for you.