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4 Winter Shrub Pruning Tips for North Texas Homeowners

Jack Moore
Nov 8, 2022 9:00:00 AM

Here in North Texas, we don’t get much of a break from landscaping tasks. If you want your shrubs to continue to look and perform their best, that might mean keeping up with pruning…even in the wintertime!

Many homeowners commonly ask us, Is winter a good time to prune shrubs? And the answer is, yes. The winter can be a great time to take care of pruning.

One thing that we like about winter pruning is that you won’t have to wait long for new growth in the spring. When you prune in the fall, you’ll have to be patient with shrubs that don’t look full again until the warmer season.

For many species, pruning shrubs in winter is actually the best time to tackle this task.

However, it’s definitely a species-dependent situation, as pruning performed in the winter can sometimes inspire new growth which might not survive if we still have cold days ahead. As with many landscaping services, proper timing is key.

You also want to be careful that you’re not pruning any early spring blooming shrubs too late in the winter as you might inhibit their bloom time by cutting off the buds.

Let’s look at some more winter shrub pruning tips so that you can get the most out of your North Texas landscape.

1. Focus on Dead, Diseased, and Declining Branches when Pruning Shrubs in Winter

It’s a great idea to cut back landscape bushes in fall or winter because it helps get rid of dead, diseased, or declining branches that put the health of the plant at risk. Winter pruning makes room for new growth in spring, and you’ll also have less yard work to deal with in the spring.

An added bonus is that your shrubs will simply look better year-round so you can have the best-looking property on your block.

plant care team rakes up clippings after trimming bushes

But it’s important to be careful and not to get overzealous when pruning.

We know it’s easy to sometimes get carried away. One minute you’re making a cut here and there, and the next you’ve cut entirely too much off. We’ve seen plenty of landscapes where the homeowners overdid their pruning and now they regret it. But there’s no going back once you’ve reached a point of no return.

Instead, keep your focus on removing damaged branches. You can also cautiously remove excess growth that makes your shrub look overgrown. If you focus on going slow (and making strategic cuts, which we’ll talk about next), you’ll avoid cutting too much at once.

2. Have a Plan and Make Strategic Cuts

To avoid overdoing it, it helps to have a plan as to how to prune shrubs in winter. Examine your shrubs and make advanced decisions about where you’re going to cut.

landscape maintenance team prunes shrubs

Avoid trimming at the base of the shrub but instead focus on the tips when pruning shrubs in winter. You also want to make sure that you’re using the proper tools. These might be hedge trimmers or bypass pruners, depending on the recommended tool for the species you are pruning.

When using hand pruners, branches should be cut at an angle to prevent the end from rotting. In addition, branches should be cut at a lateral bud or lateral branch to encourage healthy new growth.

3. Prune Based On the Recommendations for Each Species

When it comes to proper pruning, different species have different recommendations not only for when to prune but also how to prune shrubs in winter. You’ll want to make sure that you’re making pruning cuts that make sense for the type of shrub you are working on.

landscape team prune shrub

For example, it is recommended that Nandina (which has cane-like growth) be pruned by cutting the longest areas of growth back to the ground level. You also don’t want to remove more than one-third of the total canes at a time.

Certain shrubs can handle heavy pruning better than others. Some more delicate species will require extra care.

With different shrubs having different recommendations, we know it can get confusing. There are even recommendations as to what type of pruning tool be used in order to properly prune.

If it’s all feeling a tad overwhelming, then it’s worth considering our final point below.

4. Leave Your Pruning to the Pros

Figuring out what needs to be pruned and when (and how) to prune it can be a lot of work. Plus, maybe you don’t really feel like getting outside and pruning shrubs in winter. You’re busy and have a lot better ways you can spend your time.

For many homeowners, it makes a lot of sense to hand this task over to a pro. It will also help ensure that it’s done properly. After all, you can tell from these winter shrub pruning tips that there’s a lot more to pruning than you likely realized.

plant health care team trims shrubs

Instead of having to worry about any of it on your own, a trained technician has the landscaping knowledge and field skills to properly prune ornamental trees, shrubs, and perennials so plants stay healthy and grow even stronger in spring.

Check Out The Ultimate Guide to a Lawn & Landscape Renovation
Pruning is an expertise like any horticulture skill. If you’re not fully prepared for the task, a professional lawn maintenance provider can help.

Working with Grassperson for Pruning Shrubs in Winter in North Texas

Pruning, in general, is one of those tasks that homeowners often assume is relatively easy until they actually get into it.

The last thing that you’d want is to prune your shrub in a way that inhibits its growth. It can be stressful worrying about making too many cuts or pruning to a point where the shrub becomes unhealthy (or just looks bad).

The good news is, you don’t have to become a pruning expert or spend extra time doing yard work, and you can still get the best-looking property on the block. The key is to find an expert who provides quality service, who can honestly assess the level of pruning your plants really need, and who can execute a plan to make things happen at just the right times and with the right methods.

At Grassperson, we’re here to help. We can take on your pruning needs along with other tasks that help make your property beautiful and unique. That means less work for you while more time spent doing the things that you love…and enjoying your yard!

Seriously, skip the extra work of trying to figure out winter shrub pruning by finding out more about our Total Maintenance package. Get a Free Quote, then you can enjoy the best landscape on the block!

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