Posted on June 30th, 2011 No comments
Our crews at Nature’s Perspective have begun pruning small trees and shrubs at our maintenance properties. The record rains and cool temperatures, interspersed with a few hot days, has made for lots of spectacular growth. We like to wait until most plants have finished flowering and after the new growth has started to harden up. This makes for the most efficient and effective pruning. We try to prune using the plant’s natural habit as a guide so that when we are done, the plants look tidy, but not sheared nor sculpted. Here is some information on the how and why of pruning… if in doubt give us a call.
Proper pruning enhances the beauty of any landscape tree and shrub, while improper pruning can ruin or greatly reduce its landscape value.
The old saying is to “prune when the knife is sharp.” That means that the “best time” to prune is almost any time you and the proper tools are ready. This can be true, but there are some “better” times to prune. The only time you should not do a hard prune is late summer when rapid growth may be encouraged but will not harden off before winter. Dormant pruning is a term for pruning done in late winter or early spring before new growth begins. It is a time when the branch structure is visible (since leaves are off) and corrective pruning can be done easily.
Spring-flowering plants typically bloom on last season’s growth, or on old wood, and should be pruned soon after they bloom. This will allow for vigorous summertime growth and result in flower buds the following spring. Examples of this type of plant are Forsythia, Lilac and Viburnum.
Some shrubs that bloom after June usually do so from buds which are formed on shoots that grow the same spring, or on new wood. These shrubs can be pruned in fall or winter to promote vigorous shoot growth in the spring. Examples of this type of plant are Hydrangea, Summer Spirea and Rose.
It is important to know which type of shrub you have and which pruning time is best for your shrub.
Types of Pruning
Besides trimming to tidy the appearance of the plant and to control growth, there are two major types of pruning: gradual or renewal pruning and rejuvenation pruning.
In gradual renewal pruning, a few of the tallest or oldest branches are removed at or slightly above ground level annually. Generally one third of the plant can be should be removed each year, creating a fully renewed plant in three years. Removing these oldest largest stems allows light into the interior of the plant which stimulates new vigorous shoots to develop. Some thinning may be necessary each year to shorten long branches or to maintain a symmetrical shape. This pruning will help increase flowering and fruiting production, even on the first year of the pruning cycle.
Another type of pruning is rejuvenation pruning. This is the complete cutting of all stems to slightly above ground level (6 to 12 inches). This is a more drastic option, but is ideal if your shrub has become too large, leggy or has too many stems. Do not do this type of pruning during the growing season. A flush of new growth will emerge in spring. Similar to renewal pruning, some thinning may be necessary each year to shorten long branches or to maintain a symmetrical shape.
Use high quality tools designed for pruning, such as bypass pruners, pruning saws and loppers. Wear thick gloves. Sharp, clean tools are essential- and keeping a sharp eye on your work assures safety.
Posted on May 22nd, 2009 No comments
Turning your backyard into an outdoor living room is a growing trend. It offers an extension of your indoor living space and additional areas for entertaining and relaxation. There are countless ways you can liven up your yard to create a perfect outdoor living area for you and your family to enjoy. Thinking of the backyard as an outdoor room allows you to design and decorate a whole new area of your home.
Before you can effectively plan your patio, you should think about all of the possibilities to achieve the outdoor environment of your dreams. These spaces can range from understated to imaginative, and with careful planning, the simple backyard patio can become a deserved retreat with beautiful plantings, bird and butterfly sanctuaries, water features and nooks with fireplaces or fire pits, kitchen and dining areas with seating for guests, or a luxurious spa complete with a hot tub and pergola.
Today’s patios can be more than just backyard grilling stations. They can become a part of our lifestyle– extending our family rooms into the outdoors to take advantage of nature, sun and fresh air. They are transitional spaces that blend the best of indoor and outdoor life. More than ever, patios are where we entertain guests, spend time with families, or just get away from it all.
Planning Your Patio
The size and style of your patio depends on how you plan to use it. It should be a comfortable, well-planned solution to your family’s needs. If you entertain often, you’ll want an area large enough for guests to comfortably converse, mingle and dine. If the patio is used for occasional family barbecues or for relaxing and reading, it can be fairly small. A well-designed patio features different areas that fulfill a variety of expectations. There can be cooking centers, meditative retreats, and outdoor entertaining areas. Often patios are combined with additional elements such as complimenting plantings, water features and low-voltage lighting. Adding one or more of these elements will add another dimension of pleasure to your yard. Listing your primary goals is the first step toward effective planning.
Once you have created your ‘wish list,’ you can work to create a truly unique and enjoyable outdoor living space. Not only can you take advantage of usable square footage to add to your home environment, but you can also enjoy nature at her very best throughout the season.
Nature’s Perspective Landscaping, Inc. is celebrating its 30th year of design and installing beautiful and sustainable landscapes in Chicago and Chicago’s North Shore. For more information, please call us at 847-475-7917 or visit us at naturesperspective.com.
Posted on February 16th, 2009 No comments
In this article we will discuss the best ways for you to care for trees.
- Make sure tree is alive when you plant it
- Water tree
- Make sure it gets sunlight
- Do not drill holes into trunk