Landscaping maintenance is essential for upkeeping the appearance of your landscape design. But did you also know that landscaping maintenance provides immense, long-term financial and health benefits? Pruning in particular is an important element of landscaping preservation and requires a few tactics to be done correctly.
Pruning involves the process of selectively cutting off sections of trees, flowers and other plants to improve the overall health and appearance of the plant. When done in combination with landscaping, pruning directs the growth of plants so that the aesthetics from the original landscaping are preserved.
For trees in particular, it can also save from issues related to damages from broken branches. It’s especially important to maintain tree growth to avoid them coming on your roof or getting entangled in power lines.
What are the different types of pruning?
There are four major types of pruning that should be incorporated into landscaping maintenance. All of them have a specific purpose and should be done on a seasonal basis according to each plant’s life cycle.
Thinning involves getting rid of extra limbs and stems in a healthy manner so that the plant is reduced down to its original size. For example, this can be done to let more light in through a tree canopy or on plants located on a decorative fence or lattice.
Cleaning is the fine-tuning of plants by cutting out dead, diseased or damaged plant parts so that their appearance is much more cleaned out. Think of it a bit like a hair cut: plants also look refreshed in the same manner as when a hairdresser removes split ends.
Reduction means cutting the tree or plant back to reduce its height or width. Not only does this keep the design looking sharp, but it can also stop plants from taking over another area and trees falling into areas they don’t belong.
Structural pruning uses a combination of the above methods to result in a plant’s best overall health and appearance.
When to prune
The best time to prune in the US is typically towards the end of winter and early spring when plants are experiencing current growth. You can also use this time to relocate plants if necessary. Keep track of plant life cycles in order to understand when the appropriate time is.
Tips for pruning and other landscaping maintenance
Although pruning is an essential element of landscape maintenance, pruning does take specific strategies to know how to do it correctly. In addition to pruning at the appropriate time of year, it’s important not to prune too much and end up destroying the plant. Here are a few tips for getting started.
Pruning a tree
Experts suggest not to remove more than 30% of a tree’s live foliage at one time, otherwise there is risk of killing the tree. The majority of tree pruning involves making changes to the crown, otherwise known as the main leaves and branches located at the top. Depending on the purpose, the crown can be lifted, thinned or reduced. To ensure that your tree pruning produces the best possible result:
Don’t prune elements at the top of the crown and focus on the bottom.
Avoid removing all branches and leaves from larger stems because this can affect the tree’s ability to stand up against the wind.
Remove branches that are small in diameter but only at a level that doesn’t disturb the tree’s overall structure.
Aim for pruning with a consistent line of branches to match the tree’s natural shape to maintain balance.
Flowers have a wide range of differences when it comes to blooming. So, this always needs to be taken into account when doing pruning. For both fruit bearing and flowering plants some tips to achieve the best end result include:
Removing old buds directly after flowering so that new buds have a better chance of developing.
For fruit bearing plants, take off gray and slow-growing shoots which have no chance of developing into fruit.
Lessening disease pressure and stress by using general pruning methods.
For roses in particular, opening the plant’s center increases the penetration of air and sunlight so that they are healthier.
Pruning shrubs is one of the easier elements of pruning and typically involves thinning and allowing the plant to rejuvenate. Some suggestions for pruning shrubs include:
Reducing twigs to the parent stem or ground level to encourage side branch growth.
Using hand pruning shears to remove the oldest and tallest stems in order to maintain a specific height and symmetrical shape.
A key part of pruning is knowing when to do it. Different plants may have extremely different life cycles, so it’s important to keep a list for what needs to be pruned and when. This can be used as a timeline and to-do list so you can plan the scope of your landscaping maintenance, including your budget. Good landscape designs in general try to minimize landscape maintenance while maximizing a beautiful appearance. When in doubt, call the experts for guidance.
Moscarino: landscaping maintenance services in Ohio
Searching for a way to add a bit more privacy to your backyard? Hardscaping landscaping involves the use of material structures that does just that. No matter whether it’s fencing, trees or stone walls, hardscaping can be combined with living elements to create a backyard that is both comfortable to use and beautiful to view.
What is hardscaping?
Hardscaping is the process of adding any non-living decorative or material structure to a landscape design. It includes elements such as:
What is the difference between hardscaping and landscaping?
The intention of hardscaping is to define spacing and add centralized organization to landscape designs. It sections off certain elements for use (a patio) and non-use (a fountain), as well as leads visitors in the correct direction through the landscaping structure (pathways). Hardscaping is also a great way to provide privacy to living areas like backyards.
The other element of landscaping is known as softscaping. Softscaping includes all the living elements of landscape design such as trees, flowers and plants. The combination of both falls under the umbrella of landscaping.
Hardscaping landscaping for backyard privacy
Hardscaping is a fantastic way to add add privacy to spaces that would otherwise be more public. Backyards are where families often spend a lot of time, and it’s not so nice if you have neighbors or passersby peering in all the time. Hardscaping uses structural designs that enhance privacy in your own spaces so that can relax and be yourself.
A lattice as a privacy screen
A lattice is a fence-like structure that uses a criss-cross design of wood or other materials. It can be combined with a plant such as ivy to both soften the look of the hardscape, but also increase the level of privacy. A lattice can provide an interesting texture to the total landscape design and also lets in bits of light to brighten the surroundings.
Stone or brick walls
Other types of retaining walls can have an even more definitive effect on privacy because they completely block out light as well as have a noise cancelling effect. A low maintenance form of hardscaping, retaining walls help reduce erosion and keep softscape elements in place. Higher retaining walls lock in privacy and can be stylishly designed with patterns and softscape elements to create the ideal blend.
Combine a pergola with softscape elements
A pergola is a bit similar to a gazebo, but has a much more “unfinished” look. It’s a minimalistic structure that uses four beams to hold up a lattice roof. They can be both raised and located at ground-level, creating living area spaces for dining and sitting.
Pergolas too offer a design and privacy element. Softscape elements can be placed on the pergola itself, or in the surrounding area. Layering additional softscape elements adds to the privacy effect. Mixing a variety of privacy plants, shrubs and trees results in an elegant and secluded setting.
Use trees to your advantage
If trees already exist in your backyard, you can utilize this to your advantage because trees are nature’s privacy screens. You can section off an area with a tree and create a nook underneath them with a pergola. Depending on the location, you can add a fence with softscape decorative elements or shrubs that cover the surrounding area. Section off the area through additional hardscape elements like adding a patio for seating and a walkway to get there.
Construct plants to act as a privacy fence
If you’re looking to keep your design more natural, you can use medium or tall plants to give an area more privacy. Mix up the coloring and texture of the area with different plant types in clusters. These can also be backed by trees or larger shrubs to multiply the privacy effect. An additional seating area like a patio now becomes much more discreet.
Bamboo is a fantastic material to use for fencing because it’s sturdy and grows quickly. Similarly to a lattice, bamboo lets in slight lighting elements, but also acts as a privacy screen. Additional softscape laying of plants and shrubs thicken the fencing while also giving your backyard a true feeling of “zen”.
Fountains or water elements block out noise
Privacy also includes a noise factor. You can keep external noise out, as well as keep your communication more private through water elements. Fountains are a fantastic way to do this because the noise of the water cancels out other noises. Combine water elements, a patio and softscape elements to create a truly enriching backyard scene.
Hardscaping for small backyards
Hardscaping is not limited to large spaces. It’s still possible in small backyards to increase privacy as well as achieve a better design ambiance. The key is to include vertical space in your design thinking. Use softscape elements like trees, tall shrubs and hanging planters from walls or fences. A combination of hanging planters, a raised area like a pedestal and hanging gardens can draw attention upward and enlarge the area. Pavement can also use a curved structure to give the give the illusion that there’s even more space.
Moscarino: an experienced hardscaping contractor in Ohio
Quality is of the utmost importance to Moscarino, a highly experienced landscaping contractor providing services throughout Cleveland and Northeast Ohio. As a hardscaping expert, Moscarino provides comprehensive hardscaping services that seamlessly blends natural and structural elements. This includes beginning with 2D and 3D computer designs that help create a budget and timeline that works for you, as well as installing all hardscaping structures for immediate use after project completion.