How to Prune Evergreens Year-Round to Make them Beautiful

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By BenjaminBeck

How to Prune Evergreens Year-Round to Make them Beautiful

The most difficult-working elements of your landscape are the evergreens. They produce leaves all year, and in winter, they add texture and color to garden beds. You need to trim evergreen trees and shrubs occasionally in order to keep them looking healthy. You might also need to manage rapid growth that is blocking walkways or other plants in some cases. Pruning evergreens requires a different approach than trimming other trees and shrubs. This easy guide will show you how to prune evergreens so that you can enjoy years of color from these gorgeous plants.

Tips for trimming Evergreens

Trees and shrubs with damaged or dead areas are not the best candidates for pruning. However, evergreens that are fast-growing and overgrown are prime candidates. You want to maintain the plant’s natural form, except if you want to create a sculpted hedge. To remove individual branches, you should trade your hedge trimmers and get a pair of pruning shears. You can remove individual branches back to their main branches or the trunk. A branch may need to be cut back to the ground for shrubs. It is much easier to prune an evergreen every year than it is to tackle large pruning projects every other year.

How to Trim Evergreen Trees That Are Too Old

It is difficult to manage evergreen trees that have exceeded their plant space limits while keeping the plant’s natural shape. Many times, evergreen trees don’t produce new growth on older branches. A white pine’s tips are the only place where new growth occurs. Simply cutting off a branch by half will result in a dead branch. The only way to reduce an evergreen tree’s size is to trim its lower branches all the ways back to the trunk.

How to cut back overgrown evergreen shrubs

Shrubs are usually able to withstand more severe pruning than overgrown evergreens. However, it is best to prune overgrown shrubs one at a time rather than shearing them. This will allow you to maintain the shrub’s natural shape. Keep in mind that most evergreens cannot produce new growth from old branches. Shearing certain evergreens may leave a brown, ugly mess that can take a long time for to grow out.

Maintaining Evergreen Hedges

It is important to prune your hedge every year. Some evergreens grow quickly and may need to be pruned in the spring and mid-summer to remain tidy. Evergreen hedge plants are boxwood, boxwood, juniper, and yew. A pair of sharp shears is sufficient, but powered trimmers will be more efficient. You should not trim the hedges beyond the dead zone (the area without any foliage). Some species will produce new buds by cutting back to the bare branches. However, others won’t. Limit your sheering to the last few inches of foliage.

The Best Time to Prune Evergreens

The best time to prune evergreens is late winter or early spring. Spring pruning is the best time to prune evergreens because it allows for quick healing and new buds to form. The exception to this rule is flowering evergreens such as camellias or rhododendrons. You can maximize the number of flower buds in your next year by pruning flowering evergreens as soon as they bloom. Never prune evergreens late in the summer or fall. Pruning in the winter leaves evergreens vulnerable to winter damage.

You don’t need to keep the calendar in mind when cutting down dead, broken, or diseased evergreen leaf. You should remove the infected branches as soon you notice them. Cut back to the healthy, active growth or to its main stem. The goal is to give the plant the best shape possible. For shrubs, this means that the branch should be cut back to its trunk.