When Should You Trim Your Shrubs, Bushes, and Trees?

When Should You Trim Your Shrubs, Bushes, and Trees?

Fall will be here in the Treasure Valley before you know it, and you may be wondering when (or if!) you should trim your shrubs, bushes, and trees. 

Here are some tips and information on how, when, and why you may want to trim or prune them to keep them healthy and prepare them for a great start next year. 

Trimming or pruning in the fall.  

You may feel tempted to pick up your trimmer or pruner as the temperature starts to drop and the days get shorter, but it’s best to wait until the leaves have fallen before making those cuts. Here are the reasons why: 

  • Trimming encourages growth, and this new growth isn’t going to have adequate time to harden and mature before the frost and dormancy comes. 
  • Your trees, shrubs, and bushes are more susceptible to disease in the fall because the wounds will heal more slowly. 
  • It’s easier to see damaged, diseased or dead limbs that need to be removed when all the leaves have fallen off. 
  • If you are thinking of transplanting a tree next year, root pruning in the late fall or early winter will help it re-establish itself faster when you place it in its new location. 

How, and when to trim your shrubs, bushes, and trees. 

Different species are grown for different purposes, bloom at different times, and therefore will benefit from being pruned or trimmed differently. We can help you select and properly prune your particular species, but here are some general guidelines!

  • Trim bushes and shrubs that are primarily grown for their foliage in mid-summer, and prune when dormant.  
  • Trim your trees when they are dormant in the winter. 
  • Trim your deciduous fruit trees while they are dormant as well, and clean out any branches that you missed during summer pruning. 
  • Prune evergreens early in their growing season, instead of during the fall or winter, but be careful. If you are unsure, ask us! 
  • Prune second-year canes on raspberries in late winter or early spring. 
  • Early blooming shrubs like lilac, rhododendron, forsythia, etc should be pruned after they finish blooming; pruning in the fall or winter will remove your flowers for next spring. 

Need a little help?

Depending on what you have in your yard (or if you don’t know what it is!) proper pruning and trimming can seem confusing or even contradictory! We understand this, so if you need help, ask the experts at Adams Gardens!

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