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Pruning Trees, Plants, and Hedges: How Often Should You Do It?

A lush, vibrant garden can make any home feel more welcoming with the nature-inspired, whimsical touch it adds. While it’s easy to overlook a stunning landscape when you see them often as part of your everyday life, their lively presence does wonder in breathing much-needed life and colour to property. 

So when it comes to caring for your home garden, it’s important to give as much TLC as you would to your interior space to let your plants, flowers, and shrubberies thrive. Pruning is part of the crucial process that keeps plants healthy, but how often should you prune your garden to maintain its well-kempt look?

What is Pruning?

Pruning is one of the most misunderstood terms in gardening. For the uninitiated, pruning is the act of cutting back or cutting away a plant’s leaves, stems, flowers, or roots. It’s done to help keep plants healthy and productive.

When done the right way, pruning can help plants stay healthy, produce better crops, and even extend a plant’s life. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, pruning can do the opposite and cause your plants to become diseased, wilt and die.

The most common types of pruning include:

  • Removing dead or broken branches;
  • Removing whole branches to keep plant size in control;
  • Removing diseased, damaged or nonperforming branches or leaves;
  • Removal of flower or fruit clusters to encourage the growth of new ones;
  • Removing suckers from the roots;

How Often Do I Need to Prune My Garden?

How often you should prune your garden depends mainly on the plants in the space. 

Pruning Trees – What’s the Ideal Frequency?

Trees are familiar residents in home gardens, and their growth is often slow and steady, so pruning is typically recommended every three to five years. Pruning trees is different from pruning your shrubs, perennials, and annuals. You should only prune dead and damaged branches or are growing in the wrong direction or crowding other components. 

Branches that have been pruned correctly will have a spur at the end that looks like a small flower bud, so you won’t have to worry about hurting your trees by pruning them. You should also avoid pruning your trees from the top-down, instead prune from the bottom up, cutting at an angle. That way, you will see just where the branch is and how much you are taking off.

Pruning Shrubs and Bushes – What’s the Ideal Frequency?

For shrubs and bushes that grow quicker, pruning may be required every other month, which should lead to a total of five times in a year. For example, shrubs and bushes—such as Azaleas, Hydrangeas, and Roses—are typically pruned every year between January and late February. But before you grab your shears, you should use your eyes and your judgement. 

If you spot any dead branches or leaves, cut them away. If a branch looks weak, remove it. If it looks crowded and needs to be thinned out, do that as well. The main thing to remember is to give your shrubs as much room as possible for them to thrive.

Pruning Perennials and Annuals – What’s the Ideal Frequency?

Home gardeners are often surprised to learn that perennials and annuals should be pruned regularly. Perennials, such as Foxglove, Lavender and Roses, should be pruned almost as often as shrubs—every year, but ideally in late March or early April.

Annuals, such as Zinnias, Larkspur and Celosia, require pruning more often because they grow like weeds. Annuals should be pruned every two weeks to keep them in control. Pruning them will ensure your home garden doesn’t become overgrown and unkempt.

The Bottom Line: The Importance of Pruning Your Garden at the Right Time

It’s important to prune your garden regularly to keep the plants healthy and productive. If you leave them to grow on their own, you may end up with a large and unruly garden to maintain.

Pruning also helps prevent plants from becoming diseased and weakened by overcrowding, but if you find yourself too busy to get the shears out, then hiring a professional gardener may be your best bet in keeping your garden healthy throughout the seasons.

How Can We Help You?

Northside Tree and Garden Services offer high-quality tree services and solutions tailored to your gardening needs and budget. Our team of qualified and insured tree surgeons understands the local areas’ flora and fauna, which is incredibly helpful to ensure they provide the services you require. 

If you’re looking for turf laying in Sydney, reach out to us today!