Benefits of Pruning
We are coming up on the time of year when we should be getting ready to prune the shrubs in our garden. The benefits of proper pruning on a regular basis are numerous, and help to keep our gardens looking healthy and spectacular.
Pruning shrubs on an annual basis can help to extend the life of the shrubs in our gardens. Removing a portion of the oldest wood each year will encourage new growth, thereby promoting a more vigorous and healthy shrub. Removing any dead, damaged, or diseased branches will also increase the health of your shrub, as insects and pathogens will take advantage of weak and distressed wood. This can then lead to further health problems.
As well as correcting existing health problems, pruning can also be used to prevent health problems from occurring in the first place. Thinning out branches will increase the amount of air flow and light to the centre of the shrub. This will help to minimize the potential of developing diseases such as powdery mildew and leaf spot. Removing any crossing branches that have the potential to rub against each other will prevent wounds that may encourage insects and pathogens which can weaken or destroy the shrub.
Regular pruning will also visually enhance the appearance of our shrubs. Pruning out the oldest branches, thereby encouraging the growth of new wood, will keep our gardens looking young and healthy. Pruning can also help to control the size and shape of shrubs, which will prevent them from becoming overgrown in the garden. Another visual benefit of pruning can be enjoyed through an increase in the amount of flowers and fruit that are produced. Be careful however, not to prune spring flowering shrubs until after they have bloomed or you will remove the flower buds and miss out on the long awaited performance!
When pruning your shrubs, it is a good rule of thumb to remove one third of the oldest or damaged branches on your shrub. This will allow for penetration of air and light and will encourage the growth of new healthy shoots. Be sure to cut your branches back to just above the lowest outward facing bud. This will encourage new shoots to grow outwards instead of congesting the center of your shrub. If you are still hesitant to perform this valuable practice on your shrubs, our maintenance department at Rockcliffe Landscaping will be happy to help you out so that your garden will be beautiful and healthy.
For more information on pruning techniques and timing, please refer to our article on rejuvenation pruning.