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Shrub Pruning: What to Know

“If you love it you will prune it,” as my father says, and in most cases he’s correct. Often times I see trees and shrubs in need of some pruning attention. But we don’t need to prune everything into submission. Believe it or not, forsythia doesn’t grow as a square or as a globe. Ninebarks have gracefully arching branches and weigela doesn’t look good as a cube.

Some shrubs look great with a strict prune, like boxwoods or yews, especially when they’re the bones of a formal garden space. (This photo from Southern Living is a perfect example.) But swap out the boxwoods for forsythias in the same garden and you have something that looks wrong, no matter how much you prune and shape.

If you desire a more formal setting or you want a sculptural look to your garden, we will select shrubs and trees that will fit the bill nicely. 

Another reason we see too much unnecessary pruning is the wrong plant was added to the space. A shrub with a weeping habit that’s meant to get four feet tall and wide wasn’t meant to be planted by a front door between the house and walk. If you find yourself pruning to keep a plant in its allotted space, it’s the wrong plant. We can help you find a more suitable plant for the space. And should the space simply be too small to garden, perhaps a redesign is in order. Reconfiguring a front walk opens up the garden to a slew of shrub possibilities. 

If you are unsure if your shrubs are the best fit for your landscape, or they can or should be pruned, call us. We can offer you some expert advice and handle the work for you. 


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