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Main Line Gardens
376 Paoli Pike, Malvern, PA 19355
Phone: 610-644-2300

Seasonal Tip

Pruning Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs
June 21, 2009

Now that we are entering into summer, it is time to prune spring's flowering shrubs and trees.

Many people prune only when a tree or shrub has outgrown its area, but there are many other reasons to prune. Pruning increases flower and fruit abundance, and the vigor of a plant by spurring new growth. It is used to open up the interior of a tree or shrub to let in more light and air, helping the plant grow better and resist foliar diseases.

Spring flowering trees and shrubs bloom on one-year-old wood: next year's flowers will be formed on the twigs that grow this summer. The buds develop around mid-summer to early fall. Therefore, the time to prune these plants is now.

Keep in mind shearing and pruning are two completely different practices. Shearing gives your plant a haircut. Leaves and stems are removed from the outer perimeter of the plant and the plant tips only. This is fine for hedges and screens, but it is not ideal for spring blooming trees and shrubs.

Shearing removes the growing tip of the plant, causing the buds along the sides of the stem to begin growing. Such dense growth blocks sunlight from reaching the inner portion of the tree or shrub. The stems that do not receive light become barren. Soon there will only be leaves and flowers on the outer edge of the plant and the inside will be bare.

Pruning incorporates thinning cuts into the process. This not only removes the growing tip of the plant but also thins out the inner portion of the plant as well. Thinning cuts increase air circulation and allow sunlight to penetrate into the center of the plant. The tree or shrub has plenty of room to accommodate the new growth that will occur after pruning. Flowers and leaves will be in abundance all over the plant, rather than only at the top or outer edges.

Pruning may be intimidating to some gardeners. In reality, pruning is like any other fundamental gardening technique. By applying a few easy rules: What to do, How to do it, and When to do it - you will be on your way to beautiful and healthy blooming shrubs and trees.

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Read about Main Line Gardens acquiring Waterloo Gardens!

Main Line Gardens is a family-owned business that was established in 1981. More than just a full service garden center and nursery for professional landscaping and hardscaping, Main Line Gardens is an architect of beautiful, functional outdoor living spaces that provide a lifetime of enjoyment. The company's first priority and foremost goal is establishing long-term relationships with its customers by offering exceptional service and the highest quality products. This philosophy has defined its success for over 25 years and will continue for decades to follow. Main Line Gardens' experienced and professional staff takes customers all the way from design through installation, involving them every step of the way in the creation of their own outdoor landscaping paradise. Customers can choose from a full selection of plants, trees, shrubs, mulch and stones from the onsite full service nursery.

Please note that Main Line Gardens is not able to honor Waterloo Gardens gift cards/certificates, item exchanges or returns, broken or damaged items, etc. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.