Pruning Ornamental Trees

/Pruning Ornamental Trees
Pruning Ornamental Trees 2012-10-25T10:18:09+00:00

Correct pruning is an essential maintenance practice for ornamental trees.

Ornamental trees here in Mid-Michigan include but are not limited to:

  • Crabapples
  • Cherries
  • Dogwood
  • Hawthorn
  • Japanese Maples
  • Ornamental Pears.

Trees should be examined annually for pruning requirements. Too often pruning is ignored for several years. Then some trees become overgrown
and often weak, making drastic pruning a necessity to bring the plant back to usefulness. Regular pruning will help keep the plant in bounds and keep its growth vigorous.

Reasons to Prune

  • Maintain or reduce overall plant size: pruning can prevent a ornamental tree from overgrowing it’s space.
  • Remove undesirable growth: pruning can encourage plant vigor though the removal of week, overcrowded growth
  • Remove dead, diseased or broken branches: pruning will aid in maintaining the shape, vigor and health of the plant
  • Stimulate flowering or fruiting: removal of current years old, faded flowers and fruit clusters will promote flower buds for the coming season
  • Rejuvenate and restore old plants to vigorous growth: proper pruning can restore a youthful, natural growth habit in certain overgrown ornamental trees

Myths & Misconceptions About Pruning

  • Pruning is difficult: pruning is straightforward if one knows a little about how the plant grows and what it should look like when the process is complete
  • Plants will die if pruned at the wrong time of year: plant s may be injured or may not bloom, but seldom if ever are they killed by poorly timed pruning
  • All cut surfaces must be treated with tree paint/sealer: While long recommended, the evidence is conflicting on the use of tree paint. Only used for cosmetic purposes, it is best to let the tree heal naturally

Timing for Pruning: Late Fall through Mid-Winter is best

  • Better Visibility: no leaves means you can see the structure of the tree better, thus resulting in better pruning results
  • No Bleeding: heavy sap flow can occur in spring, if cuts are made, then the tree will ‘bleed’. This doesn’t hurt the tree
    but can hurt the trees appearance
  • Pruning to Maximize Fruit & Flower Display: pruning stimulates a flush of re-growth, thus a properly timed prune will
    result in more fruiting and flowering
  • Pruning in Anticipation of Growth: In general, the best time to prune is when the plant will recover the fastest, which is
    typically during the spring ‘growth spurt’, so prune during the late fall or winter

If are nervous about pruning your ornamental trees yourself, don’t like pruning, or simply don’t have time to prune, give us a call.  You’ll be glad next spring and summer that you did!