I love my perennial hedges. It’s a blast to see them grow a little bit bigger every year, and it’s even more fun to divide them into several new hedges when they’re big enough. However, a lot goes into deciding whether or not to leave your shrubbery thick or to prune it thin. Here’s when and why you should thin your garden hedges and when you should leave them thick.
Gardeners often choose to thin out their trees and shrubs to clean things up and keep them looking fresh for spring. Additionally, gardeners can thin plants out in the Fall to help prevent damage from falling tree branches in the wintertime. Sometimes, pruning out your trees and shrubs will help promote new growth, it will help trees produce more fruit and flowers, or it can help diseased plants heal. As you can see, there are a lot of reasons as to why it is a good idea to thin your trees and shrubs. I recommend that most gardeners do this chore once yearly to keep your plants looking beautiful.
If you’ve decided that you need to thin out your trees and shrubs, it’s important that you choose the right time of the year to do so. Pruning trees and shrubs too early or too late in the year could cause potential damage to your plant. If you are pruning to promote new growth, flowering, or fruit, it’s best to prune in the Spring. I recommend doing so just as soon as the plant has broken dormancy. Here is a great guide on how to prune and divide your plants and shrubs, when the time comes.
Though it’s perfectly acceptable to prune away any dead or dying tree branches or plant leaves in the fall so that they do not cause damage in the winter, no other plants should be pruned in the Fall. Believe it or not, Fall is the wrong time of the year to prune anyway. Fall pruning has negative long-term effects on just about any shrub that flowers. Essentially, leave your plants thick until Spring. You will be so glad that you did.