The Dos and Don'ts of Pruning Shrubs

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You can't go wrong when growing shrubs in a commercial landscape. Consisting of medium-sized perennial plants - either deciduous or evergreen - they'll invoke new life into your commercial landscape. Shrubs will cover bare and bland areas of the soil while growing to a medium height. Shrubs, however, require pruning. Below are several do's and don'ts to follow when pruning shrubs in your commercial landscape.

Do Use Pruning Shears
You should use pruning sears on your shrubs. Pruning shears are scissor-like tools with an angled blade that are designed specifically for pruning. Using them, you can create clean cuts without tearing or otherwise stressing your shrubs. There are also powered pruning shears available. Powered pruning shears are gas-powered or electric clippers that are designed for use with shrubs and other bushes. You can use either type of pruning shears.

Don't Overdo It
When it comes to pruning, the adage "less is more" rings true. Pruning involves the removal of excess branches and foliage. Over-pruning, though, can lead to several problems. First, it can stress your shrubs. Second, over-pruning can make them susceptible to pests, as your shrubs will have fewer branches and less foliage protecting them.

Do Start With Damaged Branches Always start by pruning the damaged branches of your shrubs first. Damaged branches are those that are dead, decaying or broken. When damaged, branches will typically stop growing. They'll consume space within your shrubs while creating a messy appearance. Fortunately, pruning allows you to remove them. Start by pruning the damaged branches of your shrubs and then working your way to the other branches and foliage.

Don't Prune During the Summer
Avoid pruning your shrubs during the summer. Instead, wait until the early spring season. Florida can get hot during the summer. As the temperatures climb, your shrubs may become stressed and dehydrated. Pruning them, of course, will expose them to additional stress, which is why it's a good idea to wait until the following spring to prune them.

Do Make Angled Cuts
Another tip to follow when pruning your shrubs is to make angled cuts. In other words, don't cut the branches straight. Instead, cut them at a 45-degree angle towards the base. Pruning your shrubs at an angle will protect them from dehydration. It essentially increases the surface area of the exposed branch. With this increased surface area, they'll absorb more water.



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