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Bend, Oregon-Pruning and Hedging

Bend, OR- Pruning and Hedging

Pruning is an invaluable practice in beautifying your landscape. Often approached with wariness, pruning not only serves a utilitarian purpose, as one prunes large trees or shrubs away from structures or power lines, but provides an aesthetic function as well. Pruning can both train trees and woody plants to grow in a particular pattern, while also encouraging increased flowering and new green growth.

Pruning, especially when done to curb the size of trees and plants serves to equalize top growth with root growth in order to improve the overall health of the plant. When large lateral tree branches need pruning, it is appropriate to proceed with a series of three cuts at the base of the branch. First, notch the branch. Next, cut the brach just beyond the notch (further from the trunk)-this will cut the bulk of the branch. Finally, cut the the remainder of the branch at the collar (where the branch extends from the trunk).

Based on the previous growth pattern of the tree or woody plant, you should be able to predict its response to pruning. Generally you will see either alternating or opposite arrangementa of growth, which can be expected to continue after pruning. Growth will occur 6-8 inches beyond vertical cuts and may have the consequence of encouraging lateral growth too, as more sunlight is allowed through the tree's canopy.

A basic understanding of pruning can carry you a long way, however, it is also incumbent that you understand how the timing of pruning can affect future growth in different plants. As a general rule, skip pruning as much as possible in the summer, an obvious exception to this rule is when it is done for safety reasons or to cut down shoots at the base. Shrubs that flower in the Summer are best to prune in the Winter months. This is also true for none flowering plants and grasses in order to promote new spring growth. Spring Flowering plants and shrubs, on the other hand, are better left to late Spring (May-early June) so that you are able to enjoy them throughout their bloom. Detailed lists are available in a variety of sources (see: Western Garden Book, published by Sunset), or contact the author.

Yak Landscape Maintenance, LLC in Central Oregon is eager to assist you in any landscape needs you may have or answer any questions. We generally hedge shrubs and ornamental grasses in late Winter and early spring. Call us at (541) 678-2920 or visit our website at

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