Spring is a great time to begin most lawn and landscaping projects around your home.  During this time it is important for homeowners to clean up any debris left over from winter storms as well as check the health of the plants on their property. Pruning during spring months can help promote growth and aid in keeping plants in good health. 

The Professional Landcare Network (PLANET), the nation’s lawn, landscape, and interior plantscape association, offers these pruning tips to improve plant health:

Prepare Garden Tools. Before beginning any garden project, it is important to make sure you have all of the necessary equipment to complete the task. It is also important to make sure all of the tools that will be used in your project, be in good working condition. Make sure that pruning shears and saws are sharp and free of rust. The use of inadequate pruning shears could lead to plant damage.

Make Clean Pruning Cuts. When pruning, it is important to remember to make clean cuts on the plant’s branches and to avoid removing large amounts of healthy stem tissue. Improper cutting could lead to bark tearing and stem damage that could leave the plant susceptible to disease.

Remove Dead/Diseased Branches. Removing branches that are diseased or infected by pests will improve the health of the plant and help promote growth. If these branches are not removed, it is possible for the infection to spread to other parts of the plant.

Prune Branches for Safety. Some low hanging or damaged branches can cause injuries and/or property damage. Prevent potentially hazardous situations by removing branches that obstruct walkways or rest on personal property.

Hire a Professional the Big Jobs. Hiring a professional when branches are hard to reach or when larger trees are in need of pruning is the best way to ensure personal safety when a lawn project becomes overwhelming. Green industry professionals are skilled in handling all sizes of lawn and landscaping services.

In addition to these tips, PLANET member Shayne Newman, Landscape Industry Certified Manager & Technician, president of YardApes, Inc., New Milford, Connecticut, recommends doing a bit of homework before beginning a pruning project for the first time. Newman explains. “Every plant, shrub, or bush has different pruning requirements. If you are unsure about when and how to prune, consult a professional.”

PLANET is the association of members who create and maintain the QUALITY OF LIFE in communities across America. With nearly 3,500 member companies and affiliates, these firms and their employees represent more than 100,000 green industry professionals. Some of these professionals have taken the extra step of becoming certified through PLANET and bear the distinction of being known as Landscape Industry Certified.

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