The sweltering heat of summer is generally a lax time for gardeners. Aside from watering, even weeds tend to go somewhat dormant in the muggy, grueling weather.
But summer is also a good time to prune trees and shrubs, especially ornamental or spring-flowering varieties. Trees of this nature include magnolias, dogwood, cherries or crabapples, while the shrubs include azaleas, rhododendron, lilacs and weigelas.
Pruning Trees or Shrubs
The premise behind pruning is twofold: remove the branches that are broken, crossed, or otherwise unbeneficial, and, open up the structure of the plant to improve air circulation and prevent legginess.
Because summer is the middle of the growing season, it’s important not to remove more than 15% of the total plant matter to avoid removing so many leaves that the plant can’t store enough sunlight for winter.
Begin by removing dead, broken, or crossed limbs. Then remove branches that direct towards the inside of the tree. If you’ve taken your 15%, you should stop there and let the tree rest for the year. If you continue, strategically remove branches to allow sun and air towards the center of the tree or bush.
The latter is a bit of an art form, so don’t be afraid to call a professional. Set up a consultation to let you know what the pruning will cost, and if there is the need for specialized equipment. Call JL Tree Services today!