pruning

Pruning Lilacs

Pruning Lilacs

We love our lilac shrubs with their exemplary fragrance in May. But almost any lilac that has not been pruned for two years or more is likely to have several trunks, some older than others, and a brood of basal shoots ("suckers") around its base. And as it blooms on branch tips, we might find most flowers up high, out of optimal sniffing range. Pruning to meet these challenges can be a different approach than with many other flowering shrubs.

Winter Pruning Tips

Winter Pruning Tips

Winter is a fine time to prune many trees, shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses. Arguably, it's the best time, as you can more easily see the "bones" of the garden, worry less about damaging smaller, neighboring plants, and it gets you out of the house to do something physical. 

Spring Garden Preparation

Spring Garden Preparation

The end of February through mid-March is the perfect time to start garden preparations for the coming season. The risk of severe frost is low and we get a few days that are pleasant enough to tempt us out into the garden. Pruning, garden cleanup, amending soil, and mulching will get your garden off to a great start for the season.

Promoting Wisteria Bloom, Part 2: A Three-Year Plan

Promoting Wisteria Bloom, Part 2: A Three-Year Plan

Welcome to part 2 of Promoting Wisteria Bloom. This article offers a three-year plan for pruning your wisteria for health, structure, and bloom, whether it is newly planted or already established. It therefore offers detailed, step-by-step information on intermediate and advanced pruning techniques.

Promoting Wisteria Bloom: Part 1

Promoting Wisteria Bloom: Part 1

Welcome to the first article in our Gardening 201 series, directed at beginning-to-intermediate-level gardeners who want to dig a little deeper. 

Wisteria is a fantastic flowering vine with a long history in Asian, English, and American gardens. There are many different cultivars available and most are bred from either Asiatic or American species...

    Spring Pruning Pt. 2: Thinning

    Spring Pruning Pt. 2: Thinning

    Last post, I explained the basics of heading back. Now let's look at a quick spring thinning of that beefy magnolia I mentioned before, and other ornamental trees and shrubs (examples: Japanese maple, snowbell, rhododendron, camellia, etc.). If there is a “secret” to thinning trees and shrubs to look their best, it would be this...

    Spring Pruning: What Should I Do?

    Spring Pruning: What Should I Do?

    It’s spring already and you’ve got a garden full of healthy trees, shrubs, perennials and vines going crazy! They need pruning to keep from taking over the neighborhood, but you heard that winter and summer are the better seasons to prune. You want to know what you can do right now. Does any of this sound familiar? Then you’ve come to the right place.