How to Properly Prune
Deciduous Trees & Shrubs in

Your Home Landscape

Gradient Line

Photo Credit: ger3dine/Photobucket

Pruning shrubs and trees is an art as well as a science.   Both are required to keep your plants healthy and looking their best.  

Homeowners seem to fall into two categories, those who approach pruning with dread, putting it off as long as possible, and those who plunge into the task heedless of the consequences.  Neither brings the desired results. 

There is a misconception that proper pruning is difficult.  This is not really true if you learn a little about how your tree or shrub grows. When it comes to pruning a little education goes a long way, so we have researched the top sources for you to make it a little easier.   

This article includes information on why, when and how to prune as well as how your plant should look when you are finished.

Portland Gardens
Portland Gardens  Photo Credit: © Marylou Riche
Symmetrical forms and straight edges are only visually pleasing in a large scale landscape. 



To prune properly—remember these three: Why, When & How

To encourage your shrubs and trees to develop into healthy, strong and beautiful additions to your landscape consider these guidelines.



Why— You must have a good reason to prune. Attacking a shrub or tree without forethought can result in not only an unsightly mess, but more importantly, an unhealthy plant.  You will stress your trees and shrubs if you prune without a good reason.  Sound reasons to prune are:

When— Choose your pruning time to match the plant’s needs not your own.  You will not necessarily kill your tree or shrub if you prune at the wrong time, but there are specific seasons that each tree and shrub species likes its pruning for optimum health and productivity.

There are many types of trees and shrubs so making rules that cover every instance isn’t a good idea. However, there are some general rules you can apply when deciding the proper time to prune deciduous trees and shrubs.  When in doubt consult your local cooperative extension agent for some expert assistance. 

Next - How to Properly Prune Deciduous Trees & Shrubs in Your Home Landscape, continued

Page   1     2

Sign Up for Our Free Newsletter

website security