Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Essential Cutbacks: Pruning Thinning Cuts + Header Cuts


Old branches removed, new branches are red
Crabapple LandscapEXPERTS recommend late January and February as the prime months for pruning deciduous shrubs, since the leaves are off of the branches allowing us to see the plants’ structure and Spring is around the corner, eliminating any chance of winter kill.

We specialize in two types of pruning, thinning cuts and header cuts.




Thinner Cuts

When a shrub is overgrown, with many branches crowding the center and reducing air circulation, Crabapple recommends thinning. 

Thickly overgrown "before" pic
This series of 3 illustrations from Fine Gardening Magazine, Nov/Dec 1995 shows how thinning is done.

In shrubs with colored bark, rejuvenation or thinning cuts remove old brown branches  and causes the shrub to produce an airy structure and fresh, new branches with bright-colored bark. 


Remove old wood Demo   









Open structure after pruning










Header Cuts

Tip removed, lateral buds sprout 
On the other hand, when we want to develop additional branches, Crabapple selectively snips the tips off of vigorous stems. 

Header cuts cause lateral buds along the branches to swell and multiple twigs grow where formerly there was just one. This is useful for hedges, as well.  

Illustrated are Camellias that were headed-back to promote lateral branching that will carry plenty of flowers next winter.    


Call your Crabapple Rep to schedule pruning to allow your shrubbery to look it's very best.  



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