Get pruning for perfect growth: trees, shrubs, hedges & topiary

Most trees and shrubs need pruning every now and then and when done correctly it can help to keep them healthy, safe, prolong growth and prevent rotting roots. From August to the winter months, pruning is a great task to complete whether it’s trees, shrubs, hedges, or topiary – now is the time!­­ Starting now before the colder months will help stop your plants from overgrowing and will encourage healthy growth until they become dormant over the winter.

Trees & shrubs:

Summer drought can cause rotting stumps and possibly spread to your other healthy plants so having a qualified tree surgeon check over large trees or plants and suggest the best route to take can be wise. Otherwise pruning damaged, dead, or potentially dangerous branches on smaller trees and shrubs yourself can help to make your trees an attractive centerpiece of your garden once again. Remember to wear protective gloves and headgear and use appropriate pruning tools.

Make sure you’re pruning in the right areas as concentrating on the wrong areas can result in poor wound recovery – which can lead to unhealthy or worst-case dead plants. Don’t prune too far away from the bud as this can cause drying out. Likewise pruning too close to the bud can damage its ability to grow. Getting the perfect length is essential!

Tip: Cut just above the bud in a sloping direction so water will hit directly where the cut was to help combat rotting.

Shrubs also need a little attention at this time of year, especially flowering shrubs like rose bushes. Deadhead these types of shrubs until early autumn to encourage continuous flowering. Water any early-flowering shrubs well during dry periods to help encourage good flower-buds for next year!

Tip: To encourage new growth on spindly shrubs that are losing leaves, cut these back a little further while deadheading.

Hedges & topiary:

Now is a great time to prune hedges and topiary in preparation for winter, as they’ll only grow a little over the cold weather. Give them a final trim towards the end of the month to keep them looking tidy until the spring. This will also help to improve the density and health of your hedges. Whether you’re working with formal or informal hedges each type needs adequate care and attention for show stopping results.

You can use both shears and hedge trimmers for greater accuracy. If you’d like straight lines across the top and sides, a great tip is to use a piece of string attached to two level canes either side of your bush. Cut just above the string along the top of the hedge for smart-looking lines every time. It’s often a good idea to trim the top of your hedges slightly more narrow than the bottom of the hedge, so light can reach the bottom leaves. 

Tip: Cut back evergreen hedges by one-third after planting and repeat at the same time next year

Pruning trees and hedges can be made easier by keeping on top of growth yearly! Before cutting any tree or bush, make sure to check for birds’ nests and stop cutting immediately if you think a bird’s nest may be in use. If you’re only just getting into the garden this summer, check out our most recent garden articles for tips or follow our Facebook page here.