By Valerie Planetta
As we are now getting into colder weather, the sap in our trees and shrubs is slowing down, and they will soon be dormant for the winter. This is a great time for trimming up trees and shrubs to a more manageable size.
Trimming this time of year is easier once the leaves have fallen, but more importantly, trimming when the sap has stopped prevents unwanted bolting. Often, folks will tell me that their lovely bush has gone wild since trimming it back. In conversation, I find out that they trimmed in the spring or summer. This usually produces oddly shaped branches, or a crazy amount of branches shooting straight up.
Unless your bush is a lilac, which is best trimmed after the blooms are done in June, it is best to do your pruning in late fall or early winter days. We always have some great days in November and early December.
This advice also applies to fruit trees. We trim our apple and pear trees every December.
A good rule of thumb is to cut out roughly a third of the branches, and stagger your cuts. Always look for branches that touch, and look for an outward facing bud. This is where you make your cut. Also, always try to cut branches on a diagonal.
Although it’s not the time to be digging in our gardens, we can be getting our hands dirty in other ways. Remember, you can be putting down lime and planting bulbs too.
Happiest of Holiday Seasons to you all!