Pruning and Trimming
Nov 9, 2021

It’s time to start pruning and trimming!

Now that the summer yard-growing season is over, the time has arrived to prune and trim your trees and landscaping. Getting everything under control again can be a lot of work. And clipping your plants incorrectly can cause damage that stunts or possibly even kills them. With a yard filled with different types of trees, plants, shrubs and flowers, how do you know what to do for each to keep them safe through the cold weather? The quick tips below will help you get your yard in shape for autumn, which will protect it through winter and make it ready for next spring’s bloom.

1. Trees—Now that you can see the branches clearly, you can trim the dead branches to reshape your tree for its next bloom. Since over-pruning can cause damage, make sure to consult a qualified arborist before beginning. Add an extra layer of mulch around the base to insulate roots. And make sure to wrap delicate trees to prevent damage from hungry animals overeating.

2. Shrubs and Hedges—Your shrubs and hedges will do best with a light trimming to shape them for their dormant season. Be sure to adjust your irrigation from your summer schedule to keep from overwatering. Add fertilizer and mulch to feed and protect their bases from frosts and freezes.

3. Roses—Wait until after the first frost to trim the dead growth from your rose bushes, making sure to trim down any stalks that might become damaged when blown by rough winter winds. Clean up any leaves, twigs and debris resting around their bases. And giving your rose bed a low-nitrogen fertilizer one last time will feed your roses one last time for the season to help sustain roots until spring.

4. Ground Cover—Rather than trimming back any ground cover, consider layering mulch over top of it to seal in warmth and protect from frosts and freezes. If you use any fallen leaves already in your yard, you’ll be providing nutrients as the leaves break down as well.

5. Perennials—Some perennial tops can be cut back once they’ve lost their blooms. Leave 6 to 8 inches of their tops above ground to tent falling winter snow, which will insulate and protect them. Research what care your particular perennials may require to make sure you take the right actions at the right time.

It’s best to have both warm- and cool-weather fertilizer in your shed to make caring

for your yard year-round an easy task. Remember to have materials on hand for wrapping your bushes during freezes and to replace any that may have worn out or become tattered during last winter’s colder days. Purchasing sheeting and ties now will ensure that you’ll be ready when the severe weather warnings are issued. And if you’re unsure about what pruning or trimming method and timeline is right for your specific landscaping, make sure to consult a professional arborist before starting, or hire one to do the work entirely.