Needham Landscaping: The Pruning Edition

Posted on March 19, 2021
landscaper in needham


It’s officially spring which means outdoor cleanup efforts are (or will be soon) underway. After a long winter, many of us are looking forward to backyard barbeques with friends and family, enjoying the fresh, warm New England weather. However, hosting mean yard preparations. While many are focused solely on their lawn, trees and shrubs also require a decent amount of attention. As a premier landscaper in Needham, our team at Cataldo Landscaping knows what it takes to get your yard in tip-top shape for the upcoming outdoor season. In this article, we’re focusing on preparing your trees and shrubs for this season.



Spring means new growth

One of the most anticipated aspects of the spring season is the fresh start after a long winter. Tiny buds and pops of color emerging from bushes and trees bring a sense of new life to the outdoors. However, timing is everything when it concerns pruning your shrubs and trees. While some are best tackled before the new growth occurs, other species are better trimmed after they flower.



Start with cleanup

Just like your lawn, the first place to start with shrubs and trees is with debris removal. However, debris means more than dead leaves. Often, trees undergo significant damage from heavy snow and ice during the winter. Thus, in the spring, you’ll want to remove any damaged stems or branches – even if they’re still alive. Damaged limbs create an open door for insect habitation, as well as lead to uneven growth.



Consider the flowering process

For shrubs that bloom in the spring (lilacs, forsythia, rhododendron, etc.) the best time to prune is in the late spring, right after they finish blooming. These types of blooms are grown from the prior year’s growth. Thus, trimming them back too soon may stunt new growth in its entirety.

However, shrubs that bloom in the summer or fall months on the current year’s growth should be pruned in the early spring. Species such as butterfly bushes, myrtle, and barberry are perfect examples of early spring pruning. If you miss the calendar on these, you’ll want to hold off until the winter when the plant goes dormant.

The 1/3 rule is the golden rule

For well-established shrubs and small trees, the 1/3 rule is always best. Trimming about 1/3 of the healthy branch back stimulates new growth. Trim too much, and you could stunt growth as well as damage the plant. Trim too little, and it’s basically like not trimming at all.

Another solution to spring tree and shrub pruning is to call your local landscaper in Needham, Cataldo Landscaping. Our team of experienced professionals handles everything from spring clean up to complete lawn care. For more information, give us a call today and leave the dirty work to the experts! (781) 304-8900.