We’re blessed to be able to grow an incredible range of ornamental plants in north metro Atlanta, from dogwood and redbud trees to azaleas and hydrangeas. These trees and shrubs (as well as many others) add color and interest to landscaping, giving homes and businesses a show-stopping display of natural beauty throughout the year.
To keep these plants looking their best and blooming year after year, it’s important to prune them correctly. Pruning helps train trees and shrubs into their ideal shapes, which not only improves their looks, but can also impact their health, vulnerability to disease, and longevity. Check out these tips from Redline Landscapes to learn how and when to prune your ornamental trees and shrubs in North Georgia.
Tree and Shrub Pruning Tips from the Pros
Making the Cut: When to Prune in North Georgia
When you prune your ornamentals is almost as important as how you prune them. Fortunately, UGA Extension has a fantastic guide to pruning ornamental plants that covers almost everything you need to know.
Because they bud at different times of the year, you can’t just prune all of your trees and shrubs at the same time if you want to enjoy their flowering displays. As a general rule, if a plant flowers during the summer (like crape myrtle), it should be pruned during the winter. If it flowers in the spring, it likely develops its buds during the fall. That means that you should wait until after they bloom to prune azaleas, dogwood trees, forsythias, redbuds, and rhododendrons. Pruning them before they bloom means that you’d be chopping off the buds that turn into flowers, a big mistake if you want to enjoy the natural beauty of these plants!
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule, so certain ornamental plants have different pruning needs. Read more about when and how to prune these exceptions (especially some hydrangea and azalea cultivars) in UGA’s guidelines for pruning specific plant groups.
Slow Down, Scissorhands! Why You Should Thin Instead of Shearing
One of the biggest mistakes amateur gardeners make is going overboard with aggressive pruning, especially when it comes to shearing shrubs. Shearing is when you cut only the outside parts of a shrub’s new growth, basically “giving a haircut” to keep the plant in a certain shape. However, doing this without enough knowledge and skill can result in unhealthy shrubs that are bushy on the outside, but sparse and leafless on the inside, because the inner portions of the plant don’t get enough sunlight. Instead, opt for strategic thinning, which encourages new growth throughout the plant and creates a fuller, more attractive shape.
If you don’t have time to prune, or just don’t want the hassle of learning how to properly maintain various types of trees, just give us a call! We offer both commercial and residential landscaping and landscape maintenance throughout north metro Atlanta, including Marietta, Woodstock, Kennesaw, Acworth, Powder Springs, Hiram, and Dallas, Georgia. From tree and shrub trimming, lawn mowing, edging, and aeration, to leaf blowing, mulch installation, and flower bed maintenance, our full service lawn care keeps our clients’ homes and businesses looking beautiful year-round. Call 404-448-3372 to request a free landscaping estimate!