Pruning trees and shrubs are a must for all gardeners, especially those who live in Texas and Oklahoma. When you are about pruning plants, do it with no worries at all. In fact, pruning at the wrong time will never kill your plants. If you repeat pruning over time, it will weaken the plant. So, the key is to limit your mistakes.
Best Time To Prune Landscapes
In general, late winter and early springs are about before the new growth begins. That is the best time to start pruning your landscape grasses, trees, and shrubs if you live in Texas or Oklahoma. In addition, pruning is essential to your plants since it will improve the vigor and the health of your shrubs. Pruning also works best to keep their heights in check. For the older bushes, pruning can be the best way to rejuvenate.
In early spring, you can prune your summer and fall blooming shrubs safely. What we mean here are glossy abelia, spirea, and blue mist. But, at this time you should not prune spring-blooming trees and shrubs until you see their flowers. Many of them form their buds in the last summer and autumn on the old wold. On the other hands, if you prune your trees and shrubs too early, it will only reduce the display. What we mean here are azalea, flowering almond, rhododendron, loropetalum, flowering quince, Eastern redbud tree, forsythia shrubs, and others. However, it is still okay to do something like removing dead or diseased wood in anytime you see it.
Talking about pruning, there are some necessary tools to use like hand pruners, hedge shears, and loppers to cut stem 1/2 into 2 in thick. In addition, there are pruning saws to cut larger branches. If you have no idea on how to make the healthy cut, you should do it at a 45-degree angle and close to a bud.
Tips To Prune Some Woody Plants
Pruning some woody plants are quite easy. Here are the tips to start:
- If you have crape myrtles, you should prune the plants at the end of the winter. It is better not to chop them straight across int he middle. Gardeners call it crape murder. You should prune to make a more natural shape by removing all and leave three to five strongest limbs at the base of the plants. After that, cut the lateral branches a third to half the height. In addition, you need to remove any suckers that grow from the base of the plants. You do not need to cut off the seed heads from the last year if they are hard to reach. Eventually, they can fall off so the new blooms will replace them. It looks beautiful to have a crape myrtle with abelias surround the plant.
- Glossy abelias are able to bloom on the new wood. It means that you can prune these plants at the beginning of the spring. To do so, you should cut off the dead stems. Doing this way will promote bushier growth and cut up to a third of stems back to the ground. In addition, it is great to cut back any awkward shoots that look taller than the rest of the plants. If you notice them, you can trim those with the rest of the shrub.
- It is recommended to reduce shrub roses like floribundas, Knock Outs, grandifloras for about two feet each spring right before you notice any new growth leaves.
- The best time for Spireas to bloom is in the winter. For this reason, you should prune them at the beginning of spring. Doing this way is good to control the size and to rejuvenate the shrub. We have the exception that is the early-blooming species like bridal wreath spirea. For this one, you should not prune it until you notice it flowers.
- Blue mist shrub loves to grow woody if you do not cut it back. Therefore, you should trim it back to the ground each spring to enjoy the spectacular show in the fall.
- Prune althea shrubs in the tree form such as crape myrtles and then leave them rounded. Altheas can bloom summer to fall. Therefore, prune them at the beginning of spring to train the shape and control the size.
- It is better to cut back butterfly bushes for every spring. They can regrow quickly and beckon pollinators at the beginning of summer.
- For hydrangeas, they can bloom perfectly on the old or new wood, and even both. The old-fashioned types are lacecaps, mopheads, hydrangeas, and oakleaf. They can bloom on the old wood or even in the last year’s stems. The buds form in the fall so you have to trim them. If possible, do it after the summer blooms. H. Arborescence and H.paniculata types will only bloom on the new wood so you have to cut them back to the ground in fall or in the winter and they will raise anew. Meanwhile, the Endless Summer bloom on the old and new wood. They bloom first on the old wood and then later in the summer on the new wood. Therefore, you should prune them lightly to control the shape. Do it in the fall.
- For many gardeners, Hollies are one of the favorites. Prune them lightly in any time. You can wait until the end of winter or the beginning of spring before the new growth begins.
- Other evergreens like junipers and yews are great to prune before the new growth begins in the spring.
- Use hand pruners, hedge shears, cut grasses like miscanthus for about eight to ten in or to new growth. Mow some groundcovers like mondo grass and liriope if possible.
- Remove the dead wood on the deciduous trees are great to do in anytime. But, the best time to reduce stressfully is at the end of winter or at the beginning of spring before the trees leaf out. Trees with the flowing sap like maples and birches may “bleed”, but they are okay. Trim branches that you can reach but leave any higher limbs to the experts.