Ladies and gentlemen, sharpen your clippers. It’s time for you to prune in Zone 8. Prior to going to your start and yard whacking, make sure you know what must be pruned, what doesn’t have to be pruned, and the basics of how to prune. The most common pruning question I get relates to the crape Myrtle.
People ask, “I see that a lot of individuals cut their crape myrtles way back. Do I have to do this? ” I say, “Heck no! First things first, though. I will start by explaining why to prune, when to prune, and the way to prune. Then I’ll address specific plants, like the crape Myrtle.
Before I sat down to write this post, I thought it would be easy to condense this subject into an article of reasonable size. There are hundreds of articles and books about pruning. I checked several books out of my local library and browsed a few others at a local bookstore, and I reviewed dozens of articles. I had been happy to discover that these sources are all very repetitive, that I imagine is good-everyone agrees on the basics. I noticed that sometimes a drawing or picture really helps also.
Given that I have removed most of the “pruning nightmare” plants from my lawn, I don’t have many great illustrations that I can photograph, so I need to point one to someone else’s photos. Safety First. Let’s say you’ve got a tree whose branches are unhealthy and loom precariously over your neighbor’s garage.
Or a tree whose branches are tangled up in the energy lines. Call the power company and ask it to prune (then call a line-certified tree guy when the energy company says “that’s not our range”)! Or a bush that blocks your view of the street from your driveway. Every year (yes Or a bush that invade your neighbor’s property, neighbor, I’m talking about that cherry laurel and privet you let creep under the fence into my vegetable garden).
Prune for Health. For just about any woody herb from a tree to a shrub, you need to eliminate damaged and dead wood. Leaving it could promote disease. If a plant is had by you with an illness problem, make sure you sterilize your pruning tools between cuts. Just drop the blades in rubbing alcohol or a vulnerable bleach solution (one part bleach, ten parts drinking water).
- Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before placing your fingertips into a product
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Remove suckers, which sprouts that come up from the bottom of the tree or shrub. Suckers only take nutrients and water away from your plant. For trees, there are a few other guidelines once and for all health. Remove branches that inward grow, branches that grow straight down, branches that mix each other, and branches that rub against other branches.
Over time, branches that are allowed to rub collectively will wound one another and could even have an effect on the trunk of your tree. Keep Plants In Their Place. I’m heading to preface that one by proclaiming what should be apparent. If you want a small bush, flower on a bush that stays small.
Why flower a Natchez crape Myrtle, that may grow 20-30 feet tall, when what you would like is a bush that tops out at six feet really? Plant a Dwarf Snow instead. And just why plant a Burford Holly that basically wants to be 15 feet tall before your windows that are three or off the bottom? If you want to be able to see out of your windows, plant a dwarf cultivar instead. It can save you a lot of time and energy by choosing the right place for the site simply.