Winter treetops

Pruning helps keep your trees and shrubs healthy and attractive. Peter Shanks photo.

January and February are great months to prune your trees and shrubs. Woody plants are dormant, and deciduous trees and shrubs have lost their leaves, making it easy to see their shape.

In Harmony has ISA Certified Arborists on staff. They are experts at selective pruning techniques to keep plants in their best possible condition. Call us for an evaluation and estimate.

Why should you prune?

Pruning helps a young tree develop an attractive and healthy form. Removing selected limbs will establish good branch architecture. This will help the tree stay healthy as it grows. And it will create an aesthetically pleasing shape.

Pruning helps trees and shrubs stay healthy. Removing dead, damaged and diseased branches helps prevent insect and decay organisms from entering the plant. Removing crossing or rubbing branches, and doing selective thinning, allows air and light to enter the plant. This will result in fewer disease problems. The best way to prune is from the inside out.

An expert pruner will carefully evaluate the form of the tree or shrub and do selective pruning for health and pleasing form. You can trust In Harmony’s skilled pruning staff.

What not to do

It’s best to avoid topping, shearing or hedging. Doing so creates rapid regrowth which will destroy the natural form of the plant. On many species, this rapid growth can create lots of thin stems or “water sprouts” for each branch removed. This unruly growth can make for lots of extra work in the future.

The bottom line

Plan for mature size. Knowing how big your trees and shrubs are capable of growing in 5, 10 and even 20 years is the key to designing a healthy landscape. Plants are at their best when they are allowed to grow into their natural size and shape with minimum annual or bi-annual pruning. Pruning can reduce the size of a tree or shrub, but if a plant has outgrown its space, it’s best to replace it.

If you have a tree or shrub that is too large, In Harmony designers can help you find replacement choices that will enhance your landscape. You might also want to peruse Great Plant Picks for plants that grow well in the Pacific Northwest. Pay attention to size estimates in the descriptions.

Find out more about good pruning techniques

In Harmony’s approach to pruning follows guidelines from Plant Amnesty and the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

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