It is officially the start of fall, and while you may want to clean up your landscape, stop and put those pruners away! Let your plants go dormant for the next month or two, as it is actually critical that you don’t prune anything for the season. Fall pruning is a big mistake and can hurt your plants in the long run.
What Happens If I Prune?
You shouldn’t be trimming anything is the fall, including trees, shrubs or plants. Fall pruning only encourages new growth for plants that are trying to go dormant. By the time winter comes around that the temperature drops below freezing, the new growth won’t have time to harden off. This is the last thing you want when trees are about to hibernate for the winter.
Also, wounds won’t heal as quickly when pruned in the fall, leaving the plant more open to fungal diseases compared to any other time of year. Remember never to prune when it’s wet during the other seasons, as there is a higher chance of mold or disease hurting your plants.
When Can I Start Pruning?
When winter has truly settled in, and the leaves from your trees and shrubs have dropped, then you can finally start pruning. Waiting until all the leaves have fallen allows you to see the tree and shrubs structure better, allowing a better trim and overall look.
What Should I Do Instead?
While you leave your plants alone for the fall, you probably want to work on other aspects of your landscape. The fall is the perfect time to focus on your yard, and start raking, mulching, amending the soil and start preparing your crops for winter. Aerating, overseeding and fertilizing are also best done in the fall, as the sun isn’t as hot on your lawn but the soil is still warm.
The only exception to the “no pruning” rule is that pruning dead, diseased or damaged wood is perfectly fine to do. If you see any dead branches or diseased wood on your trees, you should always take care of that as soon as possible, as it could be hazardous to your property and home.
CALL IN THE PROFESSIONALS FOR YOUR LANDSCAPING NEEDS
Evergreen Gene’s offers professional landscaping and maintenance services through the state of Maryland. We are here to make sure your gardens and grounds look as beautiful as possible year-round. Interested in how we can help your garden look its best? Give us a call at (410) 766-6877 or visit us online. To see examples of our work and get more helpful gardening tips, follow us on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Houzz, and Twitter.