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Pruning Never Ending On Long Island In New York And The Northeastern USA

Pruning Never Ending On Long Island In New York And The Northeastern USA

Pruning your trees and bushes around Long Island and the Northeastern United States seems as though it is never ending. I can say this because a large majority of the work I perform is restoring trees, gardens and landscapes around the North Shore of Long Island. Some of the pictures I put up into this article will show exactly what I am talking about. Before I go that far and demonstrate what I have been doing lately I will give everyone a checklist of things to do in and around your property this time of year.

Pruning Japanese Maples for Architecture

After Pruning Japanese Maple (Weeping Green Cut-leaf) after ornamental pruning

Before Pruning Japanese Maple (weeping green cut-leaf)

Before Pruning Japanese Maple (weeping green cut-leaf)

The first thing everyone should be doing is adjusting the timing on their irrigation systems to compensate for the lack of rain. More time per zone (depending on what the zone is watering, grass a little more then your trees). If you have been watering correctly up to this point you are well on your way to establishing a more drought tolerant lawn and gardens. So outside watering everyone needs to consider fertilizing all their evergreens with an acid enriched material like Holy Tone. Camelias, Rhododendrons, Larels, Yews, Azaleas, Ilex/Hollies, Boxwoods and so much more. All those plants that are pruned to maintain their form or that flower heavily need assistance in restoring their energy so they continue to develop as we need them to.

Talking about pruning. All the ornamental flowering springtime trees should have been pruned , even slightly to help them control their size or strengthen their branching unions. Most people don’t realize that it is as important to tip back, thin or selectively prune out inappropriate branches in the process of helping your trees and gardens develop to their desired design intentions (without overgrowing and destroying the value of themselves or surrounding plant material). The perfect example of this is when street trees aren’t managed correctly for trucks going by or general traffic that might need a walkway that is now overtaken by low lying limbs. This example is obvious. Other examples creep up on most homeowners because they don’t walk up their own front walkway (they enter their house through the garage), or they don’t actively walk around their entire property and it’s gardens.

Cherry Tree After Ornamental pruning (crown shaping)

Cherry Tree After Ornamental pruning (crown shaping)

Cherry Tree before pruning (in need of pruning to fit)

Cherry Tree before pruning (in need of pruning to fit)

Today I tipped back a Redbud Tree (second pruning of the season). I also crown raised an old Hemlock that is in the way, in terms of light, of a young Cedrus Deodora Auria and a street tree, an American Sycamore. There is still pruning to be done on my Hinoki Cypress and some old Hemlocks that needs to be shaped away from a developing American Beech Tree. The truth is pruning can be done every day of the year. The greatest amount of pruning is of course performed from the end of March to the beginning of September. But I would like everyone to know that restoration pruning is done all year long. The diversity of plant material in the Northeastern part of the United States creates a unique opportunity for those few people who truly understand how the majority of plants respond to the pruning we do to them. All trees and plants are not pruned n the same way at the same time for optimum health and developing care.

I pruned my Hews in the front of my property 2 days ago. These Yews are original foundation plantings that I restored over 10 years ago and are generally in full sun. I have a line of Densiformus Yews along the Northwestern side of my property that I pruned 2 weeks ago. Depending on certain plants exposure, different pruning times are in order. I environments where there is less sun we need to promote more growth through stricter pruning practices. I can’t tell you too much more because without a visual demonstration it is extremely hard to comprehend. I have wanted to begin a series of demonstration videos that I would put up on YouTube but I find that they would be boring and very dry for the average gardener to take. I have been developing and idea to spice up the garden restoration tutorial I have in my head. When I have it mapped out I will begin sharing it with everyone.

Until next time please don’t forget to say hello to your trees and gardens for me and know that they need lots of care to develop and maintain as designs intended. Enjoy your summers.



  • Jeff Loewi says:

    We’ve got one red weeping maple and 3 green cut leaf maples and was trying to learn about ornamental pruning. The red is a beauty but it has taken on too round of a shape after filling in over the past year. Your two images are by far the best I’ve seen on the web. Do you prune other people’s trees?

  • michaelplant says:

    Of course I prune and manage other individual plants and home gardens. Since 2001 I have been helping homeowners manage, maintain, design and restore the value of the landscapes they own. Let me know through the web or direct contact if you would like me to be a part of your landscape experience. Please be prepared, if you live more then 20 miles from my planting Yard in East Northport, NY you will be paying for my travel expenses. Thank you for the inquiry and excitement.

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