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Shrub Pruning Techniques to Benefit your Landscape

by on June 25, 2013

Proper landscape pruning techniques are extremely beneficial to the health and overall appearance of your ornamentals. However, it is important to consult a landscaping specialist to determine the proper times and pruning styles for the type of shrubs you have on your landscape. Consulting an expert before taking the first cut will ensure that you won’t actually be harming the shrub. There are different ways to prune your shrubs, landscaping professionals say, and it’s important to know the benefits of each technique.


Shearing is probably the most common type of pruning and is used to give shrubs an elegant and purposeful appearance, as well as regulate their height. However, the practice of shearing is detrimental to a shrub’s health, according to landscape authorities, because the careless cuts give disease and decay an open invitation into the plant. Shearing also does not remove the dead and dying portions that are located on the interior part of the plant, which prevents new shoots from developing.

Rejuvenation Pruning

There are some types of shrubs that actually benefit from annual or bi-annual pruning that involves cutting the plant all the way to the base. Removing the existing parts of the plant encourages new growth in the following landscaping season.

Renewal Pruning

Landscaping specialists say the best way to maintain the health of your shrubs is by removing a quarter of the oldest stems at the base of the plant. Known as “thinning,” this process allows the shrub to maintain a natural and distinguished appearance. The thinning of these branches near the base also allows sunlight to shine on the base, which is necessary for stimulating new growth.

Selective Pruning

Selective pruning involves cutting at branch collars to take advantage of the shrub’s built-in protective tissues. This type of pruning also accentuates the natural form of the shrub.

If you aren’t sure which pruning technique is best for your shrubs, call your landscaping authority

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