How to Prune Bushes

Taking care of your house is a bit like taking care of your body. With a little routine maintenance, you can keep everything neat, clean, and presentable. Although it’s not a crime to let your yard get a bit unruly, it’s generally a good idea to keep plants under control. A well-maintained yard is more usable and welcoming.

1. Assuming your bushes don’t have showy flowers, you’re free to prune them at any time.

2. When you begin pruning, it’s best to first take care of all those bits and pieces that are dangerous to the health of the whole. If any stems are dead, diseased, or damaged, cut them off straightaway. If they can’t continue to grow and thrive or they’re inviting insects and diseases to ravage the plant, they have to be removed. Suckers are vigorous shoots that develop near or below the ground, while water sprouts develop on trunks or side branches.

3. Identify the plant’s type and work from there. Flowering shrubs should be pruned lightly. Cut just above a healthy bud on all long, unbranched stems, keeping in mind that a new branch will grow in the direction of the bud. Non-flowering shrubs should be pruned moderately. Cut to wear you think they look best and then chop a little more off (so that you can wait awhile before trimming again). For older plants with more wear and tear, you’ll need to be a little more brutal. Cut back all branches to within an inch of the ground during winter. Come spring, they should start growing again, hopefully looking like new.

4. When pruning, make crisp cuts using clean (and very sharp) shears. Less is more when it comes to shrubbery, so you never want to prune off more than one-third of the plant. Too much pruning can shock a plant and cause it to die prematurely. 


Give us a call if you have any questions. The Lawn Ranger can prune and maintain all your bushes and shrubs. Plus, we offer many other lawn care services. Call 504-304-7737 or request a free quote. We look forward to serving you!

Kevin Barraco