The best time to Prune Shrubs and trees in the Carolinas is during the dormant or ‘resting’ season, typically during the late fall and early winter. It is best to prune your foliage when the temperature goes down and the days are getting shorter, both of which are key signs that the dormant season has arrived.
Some things to know about pruning your shrubs include:
Prune the Right Ones
Keep in mind that not all shrubs and trees are best pruned at this time, so ask your landscape professional to learn more. Some shrubs that are best pruned during fall and winter include Crepe Myrtles, Hydrangeas, Smoke Bushes, Spirea, and Barberries- all popular shrubs in the southeastern US that bloom in the summertime. Shrubs that bloom in the spring should not be pruned during cooler weather, but rather immediately after spring bloom; some examples are lilac and forsythias. While you won’t kill the plant by pruning it during the dormant season, you will hinder its growth and reduce its blossoms.
Look for Problems
One of the reasons to prune during the dormant season is so that you can easily spot issues or problems with the plant that may be less noticeable when it is covered with flowers or foliage. Make this the time to remove dead and dying limbs to make better use of the resources received by your shrub; this funnels these resources to the healthier, hardier branches. When you get rid of the weaker branches, the plant is in better shape to tolerate the rigorous, even harsh, winter ahead.
Fewer Pests is Another Perk
Pruning the plant and leaving exposed spots on the trunk or bark can make your shrub vulnerable to insects, pests, and diseases. This is much less of an issue during cooler weather and lower temperatures. Also, the cuts that you make in the bark will heal faster during the dormant season. In the cooler months, openings in the bark are less vulnerable to pest or disease damage.
No Time Like the Present
Another practical reason to prune in the late fall and winter is due to time: don’t you spend less time on your landscape during these months? It may simply be easier to devote the time needed to prune your shrubs and trees during the dormant months than any other time of the year. The same may be said for landscape professionals, too; you may find it easier to schedule appointments with your favorite company during this time of year. Take care of it now, before the spring rush!
It Pays to Work with the Pros
Developing a working rapport with a landscape professional in the Carolinas can help make light work of year-round landscape design planning. They can guide you toward the most pragmatic plants for the grow zone, while helping to prepare your existing plants, flora, and foliage for the seasons ahead.
Talk to your landscaper if you have other questions or concerns related to pruning your shrubs and plants. The whole point of pruning is to promote better growth next spring and summer. Furthermore, maintaining shrubs by pruning them helps with longevity and can extend the plant’s overall life.
Want to schedule pruning for the coming dormant season? Talk to a landscape professional at a Commercial Landscaping and Ground Services Company in Charleston, SC. Carolina Services Grounds Division, a division of Carolina Services Inc., can help prune your foliage to ensure lush, hardy shrubs next spring and summer!