Posted on by Amanda W.

At this time of year in the Maryland & Washington DC area, one of the keys to a successful landscape is cutting back overgrown and large plants after spring growth. Proper pruning can divert a plant’s energy to where you want it to be, increase flowering, and encourage some plants to bloom repeatedly.

A person with red gloves is cutting leaves off of a tree.As you think about your property’s privacy and aesthetic needs, you’ll want to consider when to prune, and different ways to prune your existing plants. For example, top pruning generally can promote wider and thicker growth, while side pruning can help certain types of trees grow taller. Doing so can help you preserve a well-maintained yard, and ensure optimal growth in future seasons.

But different plants need different amounts of pruning, and should be pruned at different times of the year. Did you know:

  • Evergreen trees and shrubs are not able to replace lost growth the way that deciduous plants do. Evergreens can suffer permanent disfigurement when pruned incorrectly.
  • Late summer pruning of some plants may result in new growth that cannot withstand the first frost.
  • Spring flowering shrubs should be pruned soon after they bloom, since they bloom on last season’s growth. Pruning just after flowering allows them to grow to their fullest potential over the summer; they will then create even more flowers for you the following year.
  • For shrubs that bloom in summer and fall, pruning should only be tackled in late winter to promote additional growth in spring and maximize blooms the following summer/fall.
  • Balancing a plant through proper pruning can prevent young plants from being uprooted in heavy winds.
  • Injuries, vandalism, or other damage to landscape plants can allow entry of insects or disease. Proper pruning will protect your plants, promote faster healing.
  • With proper pruning, you can “train” trees and shrubs to best accentuate your home or property.
  • When grouped closely together, many plants coexist more happily and beautifully when they are pruned correctly.
  • Healthy, properly trimmed plants can help you deal with excess water around your home.
  • Proper pruning can actually minimize home repair and siding replacement costs! Poorly pruned plants can damage your home by growing into it or rubbing against it.
  • Properly trimmed trees and shrubs can actually help you save on your utility bill! By maintaining proper spacing between plants and your home, you can create a “dead zone” where cooler air can reside in summer, insulation in winter.
  • Expert trimming and pruning enhances curb appeal and adds to the value of your home.
  • Aesthetics are important, but proper pruning can also help your plant live longer, be healthier, and minimize the work that you put into your yard.

Keeping track of the pruning needs of each plant on your property can be a daunting task. Kehoe can help you select the right plants for placement around your home, so that seasonal pruning and trimming becomes more manageable. Kehoe Landscape Contractors are expert at plant maintenance for both residential and commercial properties in Washington, DC and the surrounding Maryland and Washington, DC suburbs. Call us today to discuss your property’s maintenance needs.