One handy pruning technique suggested by Nancy Crumley is “limbing up.” On a large shrub, remove the lower branches to give the plant a more tree-like appearance while clearing the area below and around it. The one-stop sourcebook for the considered home, guiding readers artfully through the remodeling and design process. Shrubs that grow too big are one of the most common problems in the garden, I learned after consulting three local landscape designers—Tracey Hohman, Joan McDonald, and Nancy Crumley—who frequently are called on to confront clients’ overgrown plants. Tip: Tracey Hohman offers this DIY approach for large shrubs: first, cut the plant completely down to the ground. If you love your shrub, hire a professional to prune it. Step back every once in a while to check your work. Browse our collection of more than 2,000 plants and seeds, which can be ordered directly from our favorite shops and growers. For blooming shrubs, trim them in the winter when they're dormant to prevent stunting flower growth. Joan McDonald, owner of Gardens by Joan, says that while you may not dislike a plant you have inherited, it still might need to go. However, if you want to tackle the job yourself, they offered these tips: All the experts advised research. They agreed there are basically two solutions: shrub removal or pruning. All Gardenista stories—from garden tours and expert advice to hand tools and furniture roundups. According to McDonald, this should ideally be done after the shrub has bloomed every year for three consecutive years and will eventually produce a rejuvenated, more reasonably sized shrub. Receive the Gardenista newsletter in your inbox daily. If your plant is truly huge (i.e. Badly overgrown shrubs respond well to pruning in late winter/early spring, just before new leaves appear. Which strategy is right for you? These stems should be removed when you see them. For the undecided, she has this handy rhyme: “When in doubt, rip it out.”. Starting from scratch or upgrading an outdoor space? She says she has seen the vigor and beauty of unhealthy, overgrown plants brought back with judicious cutting. Tag us using #gardenista. The holes you're creating will fill in with new growth, making the plant fuller and stronger. My big friend in the backyard doesn’t know it yet, but he is in for a major haircut. (Oakleaf hydrangeas bloom on old wood, and although my plant would likely tolerate being cut completely down to the ground all at once, doing so would mean sacrificing a whole summer of flowers.) Before you start, lay a tarp down to make cleanup easier. SOURCEBOOK FOR THE CONSIDERED HOME When pruning mature, overgrown shrubs, remove the thickest branches first. First, do some general trimming as described above. Damaged, dead or diseased stems can be a nuisance to shrubs and plants as they attract insects. Cut them back to the base of the shrub to promote new growth. If your feelings are mixed, experiment, cut it back and see if you can make it work. If a shrub is on its way to the compost heap, you can be more aggressive, chopping the roots away from the main stem with a hatchet or saw and digging them up separately after you have pulled out the trunk. But before you haphazardly attack that lopsided hydrangea devouring your front walk or the rhododendron obscuring your windows, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with some of the basic information on pruning shrubs. See our obsessively curated catalog of favorite products sourced by the Gardenista editors. The answer depends on whether you love your shrub, hate it, or have mixed feelings: Designer Tracey Hohman, who lives and works in the leafy Victorian neighborhood of Ditmas Park, believes  you should only keep plants in your garden if you love them or if they are serving a useful purpose such as providing privacy or masking something ugly. All rights reserved. The Gardenista editors provide a curated selection of product recommendations for your consideration. When pruning mature, overgrown shrubs, remove the thickest branches first. What to do? Nancy Crumley, who lives and works in Park Slope as well as in other neighborhoods, is a passionate advocate of artful pruning. Pull it out of the earth only when you have dug out or significantly loosened all of the roots. Cut with the branch deep in the jaws of the pruner or. Some can handle diameters up to an inch, but long-handled loppers give you leverage to cut branches 1 to 2 inches in diameter. Bushes, such as boxwoods, can be shaped for a more formal look. A question for Dan Gill: A gardenia bush is overgrown, has leaned over and is taking up part of my sidewalk. In such a case Joan says she advises clients to remove the plant completely. Remove growth you don't want and then thin out spots on the thick outer cover. She has developed a succinct checklist of guidelines for clients who are trying to decide what to do about an overgrown shrub: A shrub does not enjoy protected status in a garden simply because it exists. Managing large shrubs isn’t done overnight. Examine your shrub for blooms to determine when you should trim it. Next, follow these steps. Heading somewhere? Renovation pruning involves cutting a third of the plant’s stems down to a height of 2 feet or less. Meet our editorial team, see our book, and get the inside scoop on upcoming Gardenista events. If your area receives regular snows, consider creating a rounded top on your hedges and shrubs to reduce heavy snow accumulation. Remodelista, Gardenista, 10 Easy Pieces, Steal This Look, 5 Quick Fixes, Design Sleuth, High/Low Design, Sourcebook for the Considered Home, and Sourcebook for Considered Living are ® registered trademarks of Remodelista, LLC. Use a level to position the strings if you want perfection. Shrubs that grow too big are one of the most common problems in the garden, I learned after consulting three local landscape designers—Tracey Hohman, Joan McDonald, and Nancy Crumley—who frequently are called on to confront clients’ overgrown plants. The roots should now be much easier to pull out of the soil. To walk past it, I am forced to bend nearly double. Proper trimming techniques will keep shrubs and hedges healthy and liven up your landscape. Cut farther back to encourage growth along the limb. You can trim non-flowering shrubs anytime except late autumn when any new growth the plant has after trimming won't have time to mature before it goes dormant. To cut straight lines, you can use your house, siding or other objects as a guide. Tracey Hohman recommends The Royal Horticultural Society Pruning and Training: What When and How to Prune ($14.81 from Amazon), which she considers the bible of pruning (and which she frequently consults on behalf of both her clients and callers to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Hotline, where she is a weekly volunteer).

how to trim overgrown bushes

System Professional Colour Save Shampoo, American Crew Defining Paste Long Hair, National Hug Day Uk, Ctrl + Left Arrow Not Working, Why Shouldn't You Refrigerate Tomatoes, Royal Pearl Extra Long Basmati Rice, Work Sharp Guided Field Sharpener, Science Of Seduction, Problem Solving And System Selling Example, Theories Of Culture In Anthropology,