Maintaining a beautiful yard requires more than just regular mowing and watering. One way you can significantly enhance the health and appearance of your lawn is through selective pruning. But what exactly is selective pruning, and what does it entail? The lawn care experts at Best Bet Lawn Care are here to let you in on how you can master the art of selective pruning with the following lawn care tips!

What is Selective Pruning?

Selective pruning is the practice of carefully removing specific branches or stems to rejuvenate a plant, improve its structure, and promote growth. Unlike shearing, which trims plants to a uniform shape, selective pruning instead focuses on removing specific parts of the plant.

Benefits of Selective Pruning

There are many benefits to regularly performing selective pruning, including:

  • Disease Prevention. Selective pruning removes diseased, dead, or damaged branches that can spread pathogens.
  • Improves Air Circulation. Thinning foliage allows for better air circulation, reducing the risk of fungal infections.
  • Nutrient Allocation. Pruning helps direct the plant’s energy and nutrients to healthier parts, encouraging growth.
  • Improves Shape and Structure. Pruning maintains the desired shape and size of plants, contributing to a tidy and visually appealing landscape.
  • Increases Flower and Fruit Production. For flowering plants and fruit trees, selective pruning can stimulate the production of more blooms and fruits.
  • Encourages New Growth. Cutting back old growth can stimulate the development of new, healthier shoots.

How To Selectively Prune:

  1. Prune at the Right Time.

The timing of when you should carry out pruning depends on the type of plant. For spring-flowering shrubs, prune after they bloom. Most deciduous trees and shrubs are best pruned in late winter or early spring before new growth starts.

  1. Use the Right Tools.

Before you get started, make sure you have the right tools for the job. You’ll want to grab some clean, sharp pruning shears, loppers, and a pruning saw for larger branches.

  1. Make the Right Cuts.

Start by removing dead and diseased branches at their base. Then, thin out crowded areas by removing branches that are rubbing together or growing inward to improve the ability of light to penetrate the plant and air to circulate. Finally, shape the plant, trimming areas back to a lateral branch or bud that is facing the direction you want the plant to grow.

Here are some best practices for different types of plants:

  • Trees: Focus on removing dead or weak branches, as well as ones that are too close together.
  • Shrubs: For flowering shrubs, prune immediately after blooming to avoid cutting off next year’s flower buds.
  • Perennials: Remove flowers and stems that are dead or damaged to encourage future blooming and healthy foliage.

Remember to Follow the 1/3 Rule: Never remove more than 1/3 of a plant’s growth at one time. This reduces stress on the plant and allows it to recover more easily.

Need help making your yard look its best through selective pruning? Let the pros at Best Bet Lawn Care take care of the work! We use the highest quality equipment to get the job done right, as well as offer packages that allow you to stay on top of your lawn care year-round. Contact us today!