As of Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Neighborhood Expert: Russ Lindsley of Green Acres Nursery
Drop those shears! Autumn is not when you want to be pruning, according to Russ Lindsley, Green Acres Nursery.
“Nothing should be pruned in the fall,” he said; not bushes, plants nor trees. Sharpen, oil and put away those shears in the shed until midwinter or even better next spring when pruning would be best.
According to Lindsley, pruning vegetation now stimulates new growth just when plants are trying to go dormant, weakening them severely as a result.
“And if we get a cold snap, which we’re certain to do here,” he said, “any tender new growth can be damaged, and this can weaken your plant.”
It’s definitely a temptation during the fall yard cleanup to trim and hack, especially when fallen leaves have revealed needed areas for pruning. And if you have long-neglected shrubs that are full of dead debris, feel free to clean that out but don’t start cutting off large sections.
On fall pruning: resist and wait. In midwinter, most plants are dormant, and with leaves gone you can see better what you’re doing. This works best for overgrown deciduous shrubs. Spring is better for other plants that may require a light prune early in the season, followed by full workovers after they finish blooming.
Regardless of when you prune, a rule of thumb to go by is don’t do it when it’s damp. Wet weather allows for microbe growth that can spread mold and bacteria, damaging or killing plants.
Stop by Green Acres for tips on what fall care suits your yard’s landscaping.
Green Acres Nursery