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.
Why is landscaping maintenance important?
The benefits of landscaping maintenance far surpass pretty scenery. If you decide to put the investment into landscaping itself, it’s extremely worth it to maintain its upkeep.
A few of the additional benefits include:
- Increasing your home’s value
- Prospective buyers will find the property more attractive
- If for sale, lessens the time the property is available on the market
- Heating and cooling costs are decreased
- Provides cleaner air and filters pollutants
- Encourages an active lifestyle for your family
- Decreases stress levels by access to nature and beautiful scenery
- Gives privacy
What is pruning?
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.
- Encouraging shrub rejuvenation by cutting off about one-third of the older and taller branches at ground level in advance of new growth.
Make note of your plant’s life cycles
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
For large scale and commercial landscape designs, landscaping maintenance can prove to be a hefty load. Moscarino provides comprehensive landscaping maintenance services in Northeast Ohio and Cleveland, including fertilization, pruning, garden maintenance and much more.