September 1, 2021 Uncategorized

As the summer comes to a screeching halt over the next few days and weeks, it is a good idea to consider getting in some trimming and pruning of your ornamental shrubs and trees before the cooler weather settles in. 



Proper pruning is vital to maintaining the health and longevity of your plantings from your ornamental shrubs to your flowering or fruit producing trees. To successfully prune, you will want to understand why you’re pruning, when to do it for the type of tree, and how to do it properly, if you plan to attempt it on your own. 

What is Ornamental Tree Pruning?

Ornamental tree pruning involves the selective removal of parts of a plant. This could include: branches, buds, or roots. The main purpose of ornamental tree or shrub pruning is to prevent overgrowth, stimulate flowering and fruiting, prevent damage, remove dead/damaged areas, and shape the tree or shrub to appear visually pleasing.  

When To Prune 

Pruning the landscape of your property can occur at different times throughout the year. When to specifically do this for each species of tree or shrub really depends on their growth and flowering patterns. 

Horticultural experts at the Purdue University Extension have made things a bit easier for those without proper training and scheduling knowledge to know how and when to plan their pruning. Check out their charts and diagrams regarding how and when to properly prune. 

Since we are currently at the end of the growing season and looking into the dormant period (known as the winter months) you may be wondering if you should take care of those ornamentals now or wait until spring. 

If your flowering trees have already bloomed throughout the summer months you can prune them now to handle any shaping and encourage buds for next year’s bloom. The Spruce recommends, “pruning the following trees immediately after flowering,” including:

  • Azalea (Rhododendron species)
  • Beautybush (Kolkwitzia amabilis)
  • Bridal wreath spirea (Spirea x vanhouttei)
  • Flowering crabapple (Malus species and cultivars)
  • Flowering plum (Prunus blireana)
  • Flowering quince (Chaenomeles speciosa)
  • Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia)
  • Hydrangea, Bigleaf (Hydrangea macrophylla)
  • Lilac (Syringa vulgaris)
  • Magnolia (Magnolia species and cultivars)
  • Mock orange (Philadelphus coronarius)
  • Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia)
  • Rhododendron (Rhododendron species)
  • Redbud (Cercis canadensis)
  • Serviceberry (Amelanchier x grandiflora)
  • Slender deutzia (Deutzia gracilis)
  • Weigela (Weigela florida)

Following this schedule allows for plenty of time to create the new wood that produces good summer flowering the next season. It also allows for shaping and removal of dead or damaged branches due to wind storms or summer draught. 

Once you have determined each ornamental tree’s pruning needs and timing, make sure your pruning shears are freshly sharpened and that you occasionally take a step back to see how your shaping is going. Go slow and prune small areas at a time. 

If you don’t want to go it alone on pruning the shrubs and trees in your yard, please reach out to our experts who can help you out, beginning with a free consultation.