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Editor In Chief, United Home Improvement
Pruning is the ideal way to produce strong, healthy, attractive
plants. Early spring is a great time to begin pruning trees. During
the change in season, most trees and shrubs begin to bud. By pruning
them at this time, you can shape and trim back branches before they
start to grow. This allows you to control they way in which they
grow and bloom. However, certain trees and shrubs will need more
time before they are ready to prune.
Trees that are newly planted, stressed or sick take more time to
begin budding. For this reason, you will have to wait longer before
you start to prune. Also, trees that drip excessive sap, often
called “bleeders” need more time as well. Such trees include maple,
elm, birch, golden chain, and yellowwood. You will have to wait
until they are done dripping sap before you begin to prune them.
Once you have figured out which trees can be pruned in early spring
and which ones need more time, you need to know where to begin your
pruning. The first step in pruning is to remove any dead branches,
branches that could fall and cause injury or damage, and trimming
branches that interfere with lines of sight on streets or driveways.
You will also want to remove any diseased or insect-infested wood,
as well as crossing and rubbing branches.
Pruning is also a matter of enhancing the natural form and character
of trees. Different trees have many different natural forms. The
most common types are pyramidal or spherical. It is best to consider
the trees natural form because it is very difficult and requires
consistent maintenance if you impose an unnatural form on a tree.
However, for those of you that do decide to create an unnatural
effect, “pollarding” and “topiary” are two unique methods of pruning
that are specially created for unnatural effects.