Shrub & Tree Pruning in Wilmington NC

Are your shrubs or trees overgrown? Is it time to tame that jungle in the front or backyard? Are you looking for a shrub & tree pruning service in Wilmington NC?

A key component of tree and shrub management is pruning. Knowing why, when, and how to prune correctly will make the difference between a healthy, aesthetically pleasing plant and one that is unhealthy, misshapen or both.

There are four basic reason to prune your shrubs or trees:

  • training the plant,
  • maintaining plant health,
  • improving the quality of flowers, fruit,foliage, and stems, and
  • controlling growth

Pruning to Train Your Shrub or Tree

Removing broken, crossing, and weak structured branches is your first step in pruning shrubs & trees.  You should prune plants for structural integrity and cosmetic reasons.

Pruning to Maintain Plant Health

When you prune to maintain plant health eliminate dead, dying, or diseased wood. These branches or stubs can be entry points for insects or disease that could spread to other parts of the tree or shrub. When you remove diseased wood you should make the cut back into healthy wood, beyond the point of infection, with a sterile blade. Proper thinning will help you prevent disease and loss of vigor in your trees or shrubs while maintaining good form. Evergreen shrubs will also benefit from an occasional thinning of foliage. This thinning will allow light and air to pass through the shrub, resulting in even growth of the foliage.

Pruning to Improve the Quality of Flowers,Fruit, Foliage, or Stems

When you prune you reduce the amount of wood and divert that energy into the production of larger, though possibly fewer, flowers or fruit or both. Every cut you make will force the plant to put out new growth. Most flowering shrubs will bloom either on 1-year-old growth or on new growth. So if you properly time your pruning you will increase the production of wood that will bear flowers or fruit.

Pruning to Control Growth

You might find your landscape with trees and shrubs to big for the space they are in. If you have limited space, you will want to prune regularly to keep the plants in bounds. When you prune regularly you can maintain a uniform size and shape of trees and formal hedges.Your best bet is to have planted wisely, so that the tree or shrub will “fit” the space with a minimum of pruning.


Modern landscaping calls for the natural look or enhancement of most plants. You want to prune to enhance this natural beauty and accentuate it’s particular features. You can only properly prune by using the right tools in the right way, and working with the natural growth habits of the plants. You should always keep tools well oiled and sharpened.

Most shrub pruning will involve two basic techniques.

Thinning Shrubs

This is when you remove an entire branch back to the main trunk or stem.

Heading Back Shrubs

This is when you shorten the length of the branch.

You can create problems when you continuously use one technique without the other. You should involve a combination of the techniques to keep a plant at a chosen size, shape, and density.

Overgrown Shrubs

If your shrub is completely out-of-bounds, you may prune drastically or head-back. Some varieties of shrubs tolerate severe pruning while others do not. Tolerant shrubs will put on new growth and may have several growing periods confined to one area. Sometimes you can prune an overgrown evergreen shrub from the bottom to expose the main trunk. This creates a small tree.

Rejuvenation, heavily cutting back the plant,  is only a temporary solution to your overgrown shrubs. Very often you will need severely prune again and again. You may want to remove a shrub like this and plant a species which grows more slowly and remains smaller.

Hedge Trimming

Formal landscapes require a formal type of pruning, such as a hedge.  When you shearing you prune the plants on the surface, usually with hand shears or gas or electric shears. Plant species normally sheared have buds very close together so that new growth will begin wherever a cut is made.


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