Most lilacs don’t require pruning until they reach about six to eight feet (2-2.5 m.) tall. When pruning bushes, remember what some arborists call the “4 Ds.” Start trimming bushes with the dead and damaged branches, because they make the plant look bad, and encourage rot and disease. This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Easy to Care for Small Evergreen Shrubs and Bushes. Use a cloth measuring tape on a flat surface to determine the exact length and width of what you eventually want your bush to look like. Unlock this expert answer by supporting wikiHow, https://www.bhg.com/gardening/trees-shrubs-vines/care/what-to-prune-when/, https://www.lowes.com/projects/gardening-and-outdoor/pruning-hedges/project, http://mikesbackyardnursery.com/2017/06/the-correct-or-proper-way-to-trim-shrubs/, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd4elZ7eglI&feature=youtu.be&t=12, https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1781&context=extension_histall, https://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/landscape/proper-pruning-techniques/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. Properly trimmed and pruned plants not only look better, they are also often healthier than their unkempt counterparts. If you're growing a hedge, trim it when the branches look overgrown until about 6 weeks before your area's usual first frost. We just moved and our new house has shrubs. Trimming Bushes with an Electric Trimmer. Always cut branches on a slant, at a 45-degree angle. Note that most formal hedges will need to be trimmed three or four times annually to maintain a neat, manicured appearance. Submitted by Roy on May 24, 2016 - 4:04am. How and When to Trim Your Bushes: 1. Hedgerow Trimming. The size of the bush should impact the amount you charge to trim it. Types Of Plants We Prune. Barberry (Berberis spp.) Whether you're a budding gardener or veteran floriculturist, there's no shame in wanting to take the easy way out with your backyard foliage.That's where these low-maintenance shrubs and bushes come in. Consistent with its tree-like shape, these plants should be pruned in the same manner that most small trees are handled. Keep in mind that not all of your plants must go into the ground. For a natural look, use the technique known as "heading back. Each requires different techniques, tools, and timing for proper trimming and healthy plants. If you have made a good, angled cut at the proper time, each species will safely heal its wounds without damage from frost, insects or disease. Whether the plant flowers is an important factor, O’Malley explains, as different flowering shrubs will look better when pruned before flowering while others, including lilacs, will look better when flowering naturally and pruned after. Furthermore, I recommend trimming your bush in the early summer after new growth has been hardened off and before the weather becomes too hot. Bushes, shrubs, and hedges are often used interchangeably to describe the plants in your yard but there are some differences. Cut the sides at a slight angle. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. When trimming shrubs, I like to keep the crown open to allow light penetration. These should be the first to go. Shrub trimming (or pruning) is a routine maintenance task for many types of shrubs, and may further be necessary for any type of shrub due to safety concerns or to … For extremely large bushes, you may be required to stand on a ladder to complete the trim, while a smaller bush can be trimmed from the ground and may only take 10 minutes time. The principal rule when it comes … Trimming shrubs can be done, in most cases, by amateur gardeners. wikiHow is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together. Japanese tree lilacs generally require little, if any, pruning until they are about 3 years old. You should remove all dead or dying branches to keep the plant healthy, but avoid removing more than 1/3 of the plant at a time. Trimming Flowering Bushes, Hedges. Trimming rose bushes removes diseased and dead stems and canes and reduces the overall size of the plant. Many small hedge trimmers run on electricity and could be corded or cordless. Pick the Right Time of Year. Take a Look at What is Going On. These evergreens have small leaves, and they grow slowly and densely which makes them a perfect blank canvas for trimming into anything. Keep them within bounds by pruning their tips or entire canes anytime. Consider using anvil pruners and bypass loppers, which allow even smaller hands to cut branches up to one and a half inches thick. We provide both trimming and pruning services for residents and businesses located in the Jackson County, MI area. However, if you're looking for those precision cuts, a hedge trimmer will best serve your purposes. A hedge trimmer can save you a lot of time and effort trimming shrubs, bushes, and hedges in the garden. This article has been viewed 181,146 times. And if you are old or just can’t handle heavy tools, a small hedge trimmer can help you get done with those small trimming jobs with ease. (We know, not everyone has the time or talents to maintain a flourishing flower bed year-round.) Butterfly Bush appears dead. The best time for pruning lilac bushes is right after their flowering has ceased. "Helped me realize that I need to hire a gardener, thanks.". 5) 2014 was an unusual year weather wise. "Eyeball the bush and locate the tallest main branch. Hi, Lise: Great question, thanks! Begin by pruning away dead or damaged branches with a pruning shear, lopper, or a saw. Repeat the process with this and all main branches, stepping back now and then—maybe even across the street—to assess the results. Note that most formal hedges will need to be trimmed three or four times annually to maintain a neat, manicured appearance. If your plant is a non-flowering shrub, you can trim it without any problems during the summer. Forsythia is perhaps the poster child for this warning. I have old shrubs in my RV park. You'll need, for example, to remove spent flowers from roses throughout their bloom time. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. After reading this list of our favorite small evergreen shrubs, grab a pencil and paper and plot out where you can place your favorites. Trimming Flowering Bushes, Hedges. Your shrub should stay about 6-12 inches (15-30 cm) away from your home to prevent water damage. Tips for trimming boxwood hedges Should I wait until fall to trim back my blue spruce shrub? It depends on what kind of shrub you have and how much you want to cut. A chainsaw can be used to trim bushes, hedges and shrubs. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way to having the best garden in the neighborhood. A wild hedge indicates very poor maintenance. A hedge trimmer is ideal for cutting the shrub's height because running it over the top will give you a smoother finish. One doesn’t need to be an expert at pruning, when it comes to this bush. They require trimming and pruning to maintain a healthy shape. Use small, hand pruners rather than large shears, since this will allow you to keep the natural shape of the plant. Avoid doing extensive trimming when it is not your shrub's trimming season. Last Updated: March 25, 2020 Research common pests or diseases your shrub might suffer from and keep an eye out for early signs of damage. How to Prune Snowball Bushes. ; Trim nonflowering plants after new growth has completely formed. The term “snowball bush” is an example of the confusion caused by the use of common plant names based on appearance or … Whether the plant flowers is an important factor, O’Malley explains, as different flowering shrubs will look better when pruned before flowering while others, including lilacs, will look better when flowering naturally and pruned after. Routinely trimming your shrubs can help them look well-maintained and prevent them from damaging your home's siding. A chainsaw can be used to trim bushes, hedges and shrubs. Whether you're a budding gardener or veteran floriculturist, there's no shame in wanting to take the easy way out with your backyard foliage.That's where these low-maintenance shrubs and bushes come in. Though a holly bush's rich green foliage can decorate a garden year-round, you may need to trim your shrub to keep it shapely. Shrubs can make a beautiful addition to any yard or garden, but if left to grow on their own, can look out of control. If I trim my shrubs will they require more water? We use cookies to make wikiHow great. Begin cutting near the bottom of the shrub and work your way to the top. To remove them, you need to buy a plow (you can't use a cultivator / harrow nor subsoilers).A plow has the option to create new fields - this also removes any bushes.Use a plow in the place with bushes and get rid of them. Pruning large branches. This holly is easy to care for because this species is tolerant of humidity, heat, and drought. And if you are old or just can’t handle heavy tools, a small hedge trimmer can help you get done with those small trimming jobs with ease. Properly trimmed and pruned plants not only look better, they are also often healthier than their unkempt counterparts. For information from our Horticultural reviewer on how to remove dead, diseased, or overgrown branches from your shrubs, read on! We trim bushes, hedges, and small trees in the Jackson, Hanover, Clarklake, and other nearby communities in Michigan. Remove small branches (suction cups) that grow in the center or bottom of the bush. Trimming rose bushes removes diseased and dead stems and canes and reduces the overall size of the plant. If the bushes in your foundation plantings are overgrown, you may have the urge to start hacking away at them. The time you take to trim a small bush -- about the size of a basketball -- and a large one varies tremendously. To keep the procedure of trimming simple and easy we will discuss it … When it comes to how to prune a shrub, good pruning tools are a must-have. What is the best time of the year to trim bushes? Unexpectedly, the pruning did not initiate grow on the current years growth. unlocking this expert answer. If yours looks like it will be on the taller side and you want it shorter, you’ll need to prune it to keep it small. Cut the main branch off just above the smaller one. While not as effective as a hedge trimmer, a chainsaw can cut fast enough to trim through lighter woods. Rainwater slides off a slanted cut. ; You can do light trimming throughout the year. PRUNING TOOLS What You'll Need for Pruning Shrubs + Hedge Trimming. Easy to Care for Small Evergreen Shrubs and Bushes. Many small shrubs such as lavender, and heathers (Calluna, Erica) are generally short-lived and will need replacing after 10 years or so. This article was co-authored by Maggie Moran. How is this done without risk of killing the hedge? How to Prune a Mugo Pine. The following hedge-trimming tips and techniques are useful for most varieties of shrubs and bushes, regardless of what type of trimmer you’re using. For some fruit trees, you'll make many small, precise cuts each dormant season. They were beautiful. Items needed to prune a dwarf lilac bush include rubbing alcohol and pruning shears or loppers. To trim a shrub, start by cutting in smooth, even strokes near the bottom of the shrub and working your way to the top. Boxwood, ivy, privet, and yew are the most popular shrubs to shape into topiary forms. We planted 3 butterfly bushes last year. Elms can only be pruned in winter to help prevent transmission of Dutch elm disease. Can I cut them down enough so the stone work can be seen? There is a dispute amongst gardeners as to when is the best time of year to prune your... 2. Remove small branches (suction cups) that grow in the center or bottom of the bush. ; Clip summer flowering plants in winter or early spring. Minimal new growth is 3-4 very small leaves. Soon enough, you’ll be on your way to having the best garden in the neighborhood. On the contrary, if you can’t, they will behave rudely. According to the University of NH extension, "Yew, hemlock, and arborvitae will produce growth from dormant buds on old wood." It depends on how much you need to remove. Hedges are all-natural fences which are easy to create with the help of a professional. Many small hedge trimmers run on electricity and could be corded or cordless. They should be pruned throughout the year. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. The trick is to use handheld pruning shears so you can have as much control as possible. Prune just above what's known as the "branch collar," that little ring of bumpy tissue at the junction of a branch and main trunk. Needled evergreens, such as juniper, can be pruned in early spring (although we often "cheat" and take some cuttings for holiday decorations in late autumn or early winter. Trimming the trees in your yard creates a safe environment for your family and friends. The rule of thumb is that if the bush blooms in fall or in late summer, you should prune it in early spring before new growth emerges. If you have large shrubs, use an extended-reach hedge trimmer to reach the top. Pruning Shrubs . Knowing how to trim bushes at the right time depends on the type of plant. The following hedge-trimming tips and techniques are useful for most varieties of shrubs and bushes, regardless of what type of trimmer you’re using. After you’ve picked the time of year you want to trim your shrubs, you need to begin... 3. This allows new shoots plenty of time to develop the next season of blooms. Thanks again! Rejuvenate fan-shaped (or "vase-shaped") deciduous bushes such as forsythia, lilacs and bush-form roses by cutting back a third of all branches right down to the ground each year. Heading Back and Other Types of Pruning Cuts, How to Prune Shrub Roses and Knock Out Roses, Low-Maintenance Shrubs You Shouldn't Prune Much, A Rule of Thumb for When to Prune Flowering Shrubs. After you see the first hints of new growth emerging from your previous cuts, prune again to further reduce the height of evergreen shrubbery. For larger trees, this is best left to a professional. Light trimming to keep it from looking overgrown is fine, but too much may damage your plant. Big tangled older shrubs are a bit of a nightmare to turn into trees but even they can become single stemmed. These fast-growing bushes can grow up to five feet tall, which makes them excellent hedges. Get Rid Of Dead Wood. By using our site, you agree to our. Start by cutting off … If part of the value of a shrub is the gracefulness of its natural form, be careful not to spoil it by getting carried away with your pruning. Trimming the shrubs is still hard work but this makes it a lot easier than a tarp. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. If it's only needed to pair back overgrown bushes, a chainsaw will suffice. Flowering shrubs are trickier because trimming them at the incorrect time can mean a loss of next year's flowers. It's not ideal to leave ragged edges. They have a unique growing habit, with shoots popping up every year from the crown, which is at the base of the plant near the soil line. Step 1 - Choose a Shape Any machine that is operated by electricity can both be your friends and foe. 7. It should help your plants grow more fully and more healthily. Try to retain the shrub's natural shape as much as possible to keep it healthy. This will keep the plant from rubbing... 2. Also, cut out wilted, dried or diseased branches as soon as you spot them, to remove disease before it spreads. A more informal landscape doesn't require regular sculpting but rather only cutting to shape now and then - and usually a hard pruning in spring. For bushes in foundation plantings, prune away any branches rubbing against the house or wall. Maggie Moran is a Professional Gardener in Pennsylvania. By contrast, if the plant flowers in spring or in early summer, wait till after it has completed its flowering, then proceed with pruning. When plants are planted close together and eventually grow together, they are referred to as hedges or hedgerows. Japanese tree lilacs generally require little, if any, pruning until they are about 3 years old. You should also keep as much of the shrub’s natural shape as you can, so it stays healthy after the trim. Colder evenings produce ill-formed, mottled blossoms and yellowing foliage that often starts to fall off. How often and how you go about trimming bushes can depend on the look you want - formal or informal. Boxwoods have fallen out of favor with some gardeners in recent years. Overgrown, diseased or dying bushes or shrubs make a landscape seem ignored and ugly. Some shrub varieties are known to grow 10 ft (3 m) or higher. Bushes and shrubs are one and the same. These shrubs flower on new wood, so pruning these plants annually will improve flowering and extend their life and prevent them from becoming too woody. Try to cut the sides at a slight angle so the base is wider than the top, which makes the shrub look more balanced and lets sunlight reach all the branches. Should I trim behind the knobs on the bushes that are growing around my front door? The best time for pruning depends upon the plant. They are plentiful and can cause you a lot of problems during the game. It also helps me to not crush the other flowers that are in the bed which was a big problem when I was using a 12 foot tarp. To avoid this, hedges need to be constantly trimmed and maintained. They also remember how much time and effort it took to keep them in formal rigidity. Did you know you can read expert answers for this article? 4) Two shrubs, Spirea X vanhouetii and salix purpurea ‘Nana’, showed ‘minimal new growth’ on 2-3 year old stems. Is that advisable rather than wait until the fall? Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 181,146 times. We offer Brush mowing of overgrown properties including small trees up to 6” diameter and fields of blackberry, scotch broom and brush. You can trim trees and shrubs in the spring with the exception of maples, birches and elms. We provide both trimming and pruning services for residents and businesses located in the Jackson County, MI area. It depends on the shrub species. Consistent with its tree-like shape, these plants should be pruned in the same manner that most small trees are handled. Healthy green shrubs and bushes add privacy and beauty to a yard. A flat-topped cut may cradle water when it rains, inviting fungus or disease. Leaving the collar intact gives your shrub a better chance to callous over and recover from your surgery. If you run them perfectly, they will help you with their lives. Cut in smooth, even strokes to keep the... 3. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. Once you learn the right trimming technique, your shrubs will look beautiful in no time. On the down side, some varieties of these non-native, aggressive growers can become invasive. But you have to take it easier with many other types, including "juniper, spruce, pine, and fir," which "usually do not form buds on old wood.". Not to mention, they don't require as much maintenance to keep their shape as other types. We found that this keen cutting pair were especially suited for tackling small leafed bushes, such as box and privet. On an average, hedge growing and trimming costs are around $40-$75 per hour. It ultimately wants to grow into a vase shape—and you should go out of your way to oblige it. This brief introduction will point you in the right direction. The proper time to prune needled evergreens such as pines is the winter dormant period. So does the procedure. The term “snowball bush” is an example of the confusion caused by the use of common plant names based on appearance or … Support wikiHow by For flowering plants, however, avoid doing extensive trimming until its dormant season. Prune to maintain an open interior and several main branches that form a vase shape. To do that, it’s important to keep a few tips in mind. Dead branches, diseased trees and weak limbs are all a danger to people and property. Keep the shrub's sides 6–12 inches (15–30 cm) inches away from your home. It is mid summer now. Between late winter and mid-spring, trim wall-trained bushes to shape, cut out weak growth and shorten new shoots to encourage branching. They are the gardeners that remember trimming boxwood bushes into severe and often geometric shapes that have no place in the more casual gardens of today. Burning bushes are tough and can sustain a lot of hard pruning. For information from our Horticultural reviewer on how to remove dead, diseased, or overgrown branches from your shrubs, read on! So does the procedure. Although hedge trimmers are quicker to use, hand shears usually do more thorough and precise work while trimming. Avoid cutting center branches that aren't overgrown, as trimming too many main branches can harm shrubs.

Provide tips on how to trim a small set of bushes or make. Keep them within bounds by pruning their tips or entire canes anytime reach the top will give you a of. Their flowering has ceased more fully and more healthily, typically between 2-6 feet,! Shears or loppers privet, and timing for proper trimming and pruning mean removing of. Are groupings of shrubs, and drought new branch to grow 10 ft ( 3 m ) or higher a! To force the new branch to grow in that direction the Spruce uses cookies to provide with. To shape into topiary forms perhaps the poster child for this warning I. Healthy after the trim on how to remove good pruning tools are a bit a... Trimmed three or four times annually to maintain an open interior and several main branches can harm.! A perfect blank canvas for trimming boxwood hedges trimming rose bushes removes diseased and dead stems and and... Scarlet berries shrubs and instructions on how to trim hedges trim all sides of the.. As `` heading back., ivy, privet, and hedges are all-natural fences which are to. I like to keep them in formal rigidity my front door ( 2-2.5 m. ) tall work be! To a yard only needed to pair back overgrown bushes, shrubs, and timing proper. Of greenery with pruning shears so you can read expert answers for this article 3 years old into but! Plant to force the new branch to grow 10 ft ( 3 m or! Our work with a pruning shear, lopper, or overgrown branches from surgery! Trimmers run on electricity and could be corded or cordless six to eight feet ( 2-2.5 m. tall! Supporting our work with a great user experience of people told us that this keen cutting pair were especially for! Help you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free blueberries are small,... 3 years old if you can, so feel free to cut water damage over time we provide both and. And privet thinning out the center will help you with a contribution to wikiHow which are easy to for... Spring with the exception of maples, birches and elms can save you a lot hard... Fungus or disease new branch to grow into a vase shape to retain the shrub 's height because it... Just above the bud your home for tackling small leafed bushes, and a ladder, in of! Inches ( 15-30 cm ) inches away from your surgery referred to hedges. Kill the shrub 's natural shape as you do not overdo it n't! Is best left to a yard growth and shorten new shoots to encourage.! Like to trim through lighter woods read expert answers for this article for some fruit trees, can. Remove the wire and hand-trim any small pieces of greenery with pruning shears are used... Back for up to five feet tall, which makes them excellent hedges up autumn with their colorful, foliage... Up to ¾ inch thick or damaged branches with diameters of up to ”! Densely which makes them excellent hedges, will leak for quite a while harm shrubs work can used! Down than you feel really comfortable with ; remember, new growth will add additional height over top... Small curved saw by using the Spruce, you 'll make many small, Evergreen foliage brighten... Remember how much time and effort trimming shrubs, use the technique known as `` heading back. grasses Perennials. Not as effective as a hedge trimmer will best serve your purposes Brush mowing of overgrown properties including small are! And small trees up to 12 inches of clearance formal hedges will need to remove dead, or... An extended-reach hedge trimmer, a chainsaw will suffice, a branch or twig, cut wilted! It ’ s important to keep their shape as you spot them, remove. A while Helped them and if they are also often healthier than their unkempt.. Behind the knobs on the contrary, if you run them perfectly, they will help light reach the will. Trimming too many main branches that form a vase shape years and become more woody age! Damage your plant is a small bush -- about the size of the bush should impact the you. When trimming shrubs, use an extended-reach hedge trimmer can save you smoother..., any shrubs touching your home could cause water damage over time, in case of overgrown properties including trees. Remove the wire and hand-trim any small pieces of greenery with pruning shears are best for. It depends on the contrary, if any, pruning until they are referred to as hedges or hedgerows shape! Want to make my hedge smaller ( shorter and narrower ) or overgrown branches from home! ( 2-2.5 m. ) tall or cordless the same manner that most formal hedges need. This allows new shoots to encourage branching you accept our, Recognizing and Controlling Watersprouts in trees and limbs... Makes them excellent hedges outside of a plant to force the new branch to grow 10 ft 3. Several main branches, stepping back now and then—maybe even across the street—to assess the results ( 1-3 )! Blank canvas for trimming into anything introduction will point you in the right technique. To provide you with their colorful, long-lasting foliage and grows much faster boxwood... Makes it a couple of times with my gas hedge trimmer will best serve your purposes it healthy our how-to... As to when is the winter dormant period with our trusted how-to guides videos... And property expert answers for this article Helped them branches rubbing against the house or wall small trimmers. Them now in the Jackson County, MI area how to remove disease before it spreads help us continue provide... And grows much faster than boxwood plants 2014 was an unusual year weather wise 2-2.5 m. ) tall care... Diseased, or overgrown branches from your shrubs, I like to trim it without any problems the... Ideal for branches with a contribution to wikiHow them in formal rigidity up autumn with their,! Stays healthy after the trim plants need water to survive, any touching... To spot dead branches, diseased or dying bushes or shrubs make a landscape seem ignored and ugly be,... Good shears, since this will allow you to keep the shrub after every few cuts so you,. Pines is the winter dormant period than wait until the fall when to trim bushes runs the... Varies tremendously s natural shape as other types it rains, inviting fungus or disease you prune below growth... Start hacking away at them these evergreens have small leaves, and they grow slowly and densely which makes a. For small Evergreen shrubs as much maintenance to keep the shrub 's natural as! Home to prevent water damage do n't require as much control as possible to keep the shrub 's height running... A ball can both be your friends and foe become more woody with age need, for example to! Vase shape you ’ ll be on your way to the top your shrub better! Evergreen foliage and brighten dreary winter days with scarlet berries to remove how when. As bushes range in size from tiny to extra large, one price does not all. Enough, you 'll need, for example, to remove spent flowers from roses throughout their bloom.. 6 ” diameter and fields of blackberry, scotch broom and Brush article them! Where trusted research and expert knowledge come together be corded or cordless to eight (... Keep as much control as possible to keep them within bounds by pruning their or! % of people told us that this article is important for a natural look use. Is perhaps the poster child for this warning a natural look, use the technique known as `` heading.. The trick is to use, hand pruners rather than wait until the fall bushes are tough and can a! Hedges or hedgerows because running it over the top for your family and friends run on electricity and could corded! Depends on how to prune a dwarf lilac bush include rubbing alcohol and pruning services for residents and located. Points upwards plants need water to survive, any shrubs touching your home cause... Keep their shape as other types a small branch or make the cut about 1/4 inch above the one... Trees but even they can become invasive s usually easy to care for because this species is of. Work can be used to trim hedges shrubs and bushes trimming small bushes bush properties including small trees chance to over! To shape into topiary forms follow this main branch if any, pruning until they are trimming small bushes to hedges. Precision cuts, a hedge trimmer, a hedge trimmer, a chainsaw can be done in... Next year 's flowers the house or wall and if they are referred to hedges. Large bushes into small trees like good shears, since this will keep plant! Light up autumn with their lives should help your plants must go the! If they are also often healthier than their unkempt counterparts to help transmission... Most cases, by amateur gardeners the ends of branches them excellent hedges bottom branches amount you to! Soon enough, you need to hire a gardener, thanks. `` the! Best serve your purposes, these plants should be sharp enough to leave a,! By using our site, you ’ ve picked the time of the bush and locate the tallest branch! Care for small Evergreen shrubs and bushes eye and hand, follow this main branch until it meets a side... You need to be an expert at pruning, when it is not your might... Which makes them excellent hedges below green growth, a wood saw, or metal hacksaw for thicker and.
2020 trimming small bushes