3810 Whites Creek Pike, Nashville, TN 37207 (615) 876-1014

Archive date:  July 14, 2016

Shaping Up

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In a blink of the eye, the weather turns. The wet weather from the prior week now seems a distant memory. It's a common saying around these parts, "if you don't like the weather, just wait a few minutes and it will change".

One of the changes you might be contemplating is the shape of your shrubbery. I am not referring to the condition of your landscape plants; I'm talking about the physical shape. If you are considering trimming some of your flora, it is now time to stop considering and start trimming. There are a few things you should keep in mind before you begin whacking away the excessive growth.

First, be mindful that all plants cannot be treated the same with regard to trimming. Deciduous plants, those are the ones that drop their leaves in the winter, as a general rule can be trimmed as severely as you like, whenever you like without doing harm to the plant. There are some you might want to avoid trimming, such as Crape Myrtle or Butterfly Bush that are just now beginning to flower. However, if they are nearing the end of their flower cycle you might wish to trim them now and perhaps get another blooming cycle before fall.

Evergreens are divided into two groups: broadleafs and conifers. Broadleaf evergreens can be trimmed much as deciduous plants now. I would however discourage you from doing severe pruning on these now; that is better left for late winter. Conifers on the other hand should be pruned with care, if at all. As a general rule, conifers respond best to winter pruning. That doesn't mean you cannot trim them now, but do so only for shaping. It is also important to fertilize when trimming. We recommend Espoma® organic fertilizer; there’s a blend for every plant in your landscape.

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David Bates