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5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Old Shrubs

Jack Moore
Mar 21, 2022 10:56:23 AM

Your landscape is such an important part of your North Texas property. But over time, even well-cared-for landscapes can run into trouble. Homeowners don’t always realize that plants can have a “shelf life.” They don’t live forever. Like other living things, all plants in a residential landscape will eventually die. And even before they do, they might start under-performing or come to look less-than-optimal.

While replacing shrubs might not be something you want to worry about, it could end up making a huge difference in the appearance and performance of your landscape.

If you’re wondering when to replace shrubs in North Texas, then we’re here to help. We’ll share some of the signs or reasons that it might be time to consider making a change.

1. It Might be Time for Replacing Shrubs if They’ve Outgrown the Area

Shrubs that have outgrown the space they were intended for is a common reason for replacement. Oftentimes, shrubs are small and compact when they are first installed. But unless it’s a species that typically stays small and compact, a shrub can eventually outgrow the space that it’s in.

Sometimes this can be fixed with pruning. If a few branches have simply grown too long and are blocking a window or doorway, for instance, those could be trimmed back. However, in some cases, a shrub may have gotten so wide or tall that it’s simply too big for the space it’s in and can’t just be trimmed down.

landscape maintenance crew trimming shrubs

This would be a great time to replace those overgrown shrubs with something that will stay smaller or more compact. Or, make more of an effort to keep up with regular pruning.

Sometimes, homeowners purchase a home and acquire a landscape that they weren’t even responsible for planting. It might be full of overgrown shrubs. This is definitely an opportunity to start fresh!

2. It Might be Time for Replacing Shrubs if They Are Under-Performing

As far as when to remove shrubs, if they are in poor shape, it could be time to just start fresh. Some signs that a shrub is in poor health include the following.

  • Discoloration
  • Premature leaf drop
  • Failure to bloom
  • Failure to reach full size or declining in size
  • Dead spots on leaves
  • Twig death

There are different reasons for potential shrub problems including pest infestation, disease, and even environmental stressors.

aphids on plant

If it’s a shrub that you really like, you can first determine if it’s able to be saved. There are certainly some shrub problems that can be fixed and your shrub’s health can be restored.

However, if your plant is completely ravaged by a pest or disease, or it is already dying, it may be too late to save. At that point, it might make more sense to replace the shrub and then take better care of your new one going forward.

One way to prevent shrub problems is with plant health care.

technician sprays shrubs

Our program includes preventative treatments in an effort to be proactive and prevent a lot of these common shrub and tree problems in the first place. However, we can also implement curative treatments to address specific concerns as they may arise.

3. It Might be Time for Replacing Shrubs if They Were Improperly Planted

While shrub problems often get chalked up to disease and pest issues, sometimes the problem is that a shrub was installed improperly in the first place.

Homeowners don’t always realize that they can’t just plant a shrub anywhere they like. You have to pay attention to the micro-climate of the landscape bed. That includes how much sun, wind, and moisture that bed receives. As an example, some plants will naturally thrive in full sun while others need some shade.

well maintained shrubs at entrance of home

There’s a saying in the landscape industry that goes, right plant, right place. When it gets ignored, a plant can really struggle and start to look subpar. Unfortunately, no plant health care program can overcome a plant problem that is due to a poor location. That plant is always going to struggle in that spot.

This would be a situation where it makes more sense to replace the shrub with one that will thrive in that location.

Check Out The Ultimate Guide to a Lawn & Landscape Renovation

4. It Might be Time for Replacing Shrubs if They Were Damaged

As far as when to replace shrubs, it’s also worth mentioning that damage can also be a shrub problem that could warrant removal and replacement. Like a plant that was improperly planted in the first place, a plant that was damaged might not be able to be fixed.

One potential way that a plant could be damaged is with an oil or chemical spill. Even emptying a pool might seem like a harmless endeavor but it could flood your landscape and cause trouble.

landscape maintenance crew inspect property

Homeowners sometimes don’t realize that overwatering their plants can also lead to damage. When you water beyond what your plants need, you are basically drowning their roots. This can lead a shrub to turn yellow. And over time, it can actually kill the shrub.

5. It Might be Time for Replacing Shrubs if You’re just Ready for Change

While most of the reasons that we’ve given as far as when to remove shrubs have to do with problems, you might also want to consider replacing shrubs if you’re just ready for a change.

Without a doubt, this would be a way to freshen a landscape and give it a brand-new look. Perhaps you were not the one to install the shrubs in the first place and you want something new.

well maintained plants and shrubs

Or, perhaps you did install the landscape but it’s been many years and you want to change things up. This is a totally reasonable reason for replacing shrubs. After all, over time your style, your wants and needs, and even your landscape can evolve and you might just want a change.

Sometimes people have very complex landscapes with many different types of plants and it is very high maintenance. You might be looking to simplify. Or, maybe you want to make things more complex and add more plants. There are lots of different reasons for deciding to update your landscape and all are valid.

How to Replace Shrubs: Working with a Pro in North Texas

Finally, since we are talking about replacing shrubs, we want to share a few words on how to go about this process.

While we would never claim that installing shrubs is rocket science, sometimes it is just better to hand this task over to a professional and ensure that it’s done properly. After all, there is often more to take into account than homeowners realize.

landscape crew planting new shrub

You want to make sure the landscape bed is properly prepped, that the proper size hole is dug, and (as we’ve already emphasized) that it is the right plant for the right place.

This includes not only taking into account the microclimate of the site (and the plant’s needs) but also how big that plant is going to get for the space and how closely it is being installed to other plants. All of this can have an impact on the landscape’s end results.

Instead of having to worry about any of this, you can simply hand those worries over to a landscaping professional who will ensure your shrubs are properly installed from the get-go. This will help to set you up for success.

At the end of the day, we understand that you simply want to know that your landscape is in good hands and will continue to perform well. By making the wise investment to work with a pro, you can sit back and relax knowing that you’re in good hands.Ultimate Guide to a lawn & Landscape Renovation
Ready to have a truly impressive Northern Texas yard? Get in touch with us so we can talk about some enhancements that might work best for your unique property.
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