To keep looking their best shrubs need some maintenance but knowing how to properly trim them is very important to keep them alive and healthy.
When using proper and healthy trimming you can increase the number of booms that your shrubs have.
With some shrubs trimming them during the wrong time will reduce the number of blooms, while trimming too much during the wrong time will kill shrubs.
HOW TO TRIM A SHRUB
When trimming a shrub make sure to make the cut is less than one-quarter of an inch above the new bud, node, or joint.
This will keep the new growth if there is any from drying out and keep the tip from rotting.
If the cut is going to be an angular cut then make sure that it is at about 45 degrees with the lowest point from the new node or joint where new growth will come from.
Removing branches from large shrubs should be done with the proper tool such as a hand saw, loopers, or hand shears.
The cut should be near where the branch to be removed emerges from the main branch.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO TRIM SHRUBS
Trimming your shrubs depends on one of three important factors.
If a shrub blooms in the early spring, then trimming should be done right after the blooms are spent.
Shrubs that bloom in the summer should be trimmed in the winter or early spring.
With nonflowering shrubs, trimming them should be done after new growth has had a chance to completely form.
Any heavy trimming should only be done during the winter or early spring when the plant is dormant.
In early spring any dead or damaged stems should be removed with a sharp pair of hand shears or loopers.
Early springtime is also the best time to trim and shape evergreen shrubs while they are still dormant.
Any shrubs that bloom in the spring should not be trimmed because you will be also removing flower buds.
WHEN TO TRIM SHRUBS THAT FLOWER?
Flowering shrubs should only be trimmed only after the flowers are spent.
This is because the flower buds only form on the last year’s growth and trimming too early will remove this year’s flowers.
HOW TO CHOOSE A SHAPE FOR YOUR SHRUBS?
All shrubs have a natural shape or natural growth pattern, therefore keeping that in mind you have a starting point.
If the shrub doesn’t have a lot of leaves near the base then it can be shaped as a rounded shrub.
On the other hand, if the shrub wants to naturally have a square shape then trimming them into a boxy form is the way to go.
HOW TO EASILY SHAPE YOUR SHRUBS FOR A FORMAL LOOK?
Keeping a single rounded shape to your shrubs is best done with a pair of hand shears so you have more control over what gets trimmed.
Yes, it will take longer than gas or electric trimmers but you will also have less control and run the risk of taking too much off.
Also when you trim by hand, you can carefully make healthy cuts.
With one large shrub or a group of shrubs with a round shape, trimmers will be needed to reach the whole shrub or shrubs.
Sometimes time well spent is well worth it and this is one situation where well-spent time will pay off.
Remember to step back after a few cuts to make sure that the bush has a well-rounded look to it.
When trimming your shrubs for a boxy look, it is best to use four lawn stakes at the corners of the plant and connect the stakes together with string.
The string will help you to make straight cuts to give the bush clean and straight lines.
When trimming straight edges, an electric or gas trimmer can be used to speed everything up, but hedge trimmers can also be used.
Just remember to take your time and don’t hold the trimmer too far from your body because it may become harder to control.
HOW MUCH TO TRIM WHEN PRUNING SHRUBS?
When shrubs are mature, removing about one-third of old growth mainly from the top will cause the plant to sprout new growth.
This new growth will help to produce more flowers the following year.
TRIMMING LEGGY GROWTH
Leggy growth is when a shrub shoots up several stems that are a foot or more past the shape of the shrub.
Any leggy growth should be removed just above a node which is where the leaves are coming from the stem, using a pair of hand shears or loppers that have sharp blades.
This can happen if there is too much nitrogen in the soil or the shrub is in a low-light environment.