7 Benefits of Pruning Ornamental Trees & Shrubs

At Emerald, we prune trees and shrubs during the fall for a variety of reasons. This season is one of the best times of year to see branching structures, along with less chance of transmitting diseases or attracting insects to fresh pruning wounds.

There are also many long-term benefits property owners receive when pruning during the fall. Safety, health, and control are just a few of the reasons our team focuses on this late-season treatment. Other benefits include:

  • Training young plants. Pruning can help train young plants to enhance their natural form. By cutting back lateral branches, a tree or shrub can be trained to grow into the desired shape, fill an open area caused by storm damage, or keep the plant within a certain area on your property
  • Maintaining plant health and appearance. Diseased, injured, or dead plants should be removed. As trees mature, their root systems may reduce. This results in the crown to thin, helping the tree re-establish the balance between a treetop and roots. Pruning will ensure the existing root structure is supported by the leaves on your trees and/or shrubs
  • Influence flowering. Pruning can help stimulate flowering. As plants mature they produce more fruit, but often via smaller buds. Pruning can reduce the amount of energy a plant expends and in turn, divert its resources into growing larger, fewer flowers and fruit
  • Controlling size. Pruning not only benefits the health of your plantings, but it can impact the safety of your environment. Overgrown trees and shrubs can interfere with utility lines, decrease the visibility of road signs or traffic, limit pest control and more. Pruning causes certain shoots (the part of the plant which has a stem, leaves and flowers) to become invigorated when neighboring shoots are removed. The reason? Nutrients and water from the root system are redirected into the remaining growth

  • Developing unnatural forms. A visually appealing tree or shrub can make a wonderful first impression on your home’s landscape. There are so many options to design almost any evergreen or deciduous tree to the shape that you wish, creating some of the best-shaped trees on your block. Prior to pruning, an expert should understand the natural growth habit of your planting and its response to pruning
  • Preventing injury to people and property. Unfortunately, we see too many stories of people or properties that are harmed due to hazardous, fallen tree limbs. Limbs and structures that are hanging over homes or parking areas are very dangerous and should be removed. The removal of trees, limbs, and other structures that take place off the ground should always be done by a professional arborist
  • Rejuvenate old shrubs. Have you noticed your old shrubs looking a little dull or lackluster? Pruning removes sparse or twiggy mature branches, which can increase flower production. Hard pruning for shrubs can also result in vibrant colors, especially for those known for colorful bark like yellow twig or red osier dogwood.
Yellow Twig and Red Osier Dogwood

If incorporated into a maintenance plan, the pruning of ornamental shrubs and trees can improve the overall health of your plantings. At Emerald, we improve the vigor and longevity of our clients’ plantings by micromanaging the growth process. Our highly trained technicians combine various practices, including tree pruning, yearly hand pruning, maintenance pruning and developmental pruning to ensure that all of our clients’ plantings maintain and restore their health.

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