These tips for trimming bushes will help you get the job done quickly and easily. Before you begin trimming bushes, make sure you have the following: a clean pair of shears, proper gloves (especially if dealing with bushes with thorns), and the right attitude. You may think it is silly, but you have to go in knowing what's possible and what isn't. You also have to know what will hurt and what will help when trimming bushes. First, when it comes to the clean shears, this means that they are cleaned after every individual trimming. If your bush is infected with a disease or pest and you aren't aware of it, you could unknowingly give it to your other bushes. Therefore, after each trimming, clean the shears with a bleach based mixture.
There are a few reasons why you want to trim bushes; to removed dead or unhealthy branches, to encourage your bush to produce new, healthy branches and re-invigorate growth, to shape it, to coax your plant into producing a denser shape, to thin out growth while also providing better air circulation and light, and to try and reduce your plants size. It is important that you evaluate what you are going to do before you begin trimming. This will keep you on set trajectory and will keep you from harming your plant.
Most plants, with a few exceptions, can be pruned all year. However, there is always an ok, better, and best way to do something. When it comes to trimming away diseased and dead wood, this is a 'go' throughout the entire year. You want to stop the problem before it spreads throughout the bush. When it comes to anything else, especially more dramatic, spring and fall are always best. If you are trimming shrubs, such as lilacs, these are only supposed to be pruned in the spring. Make sure that you investigate your plant's needs prior to taking the shears to it.
To prune branches, cut it as close to the trunk as you can. You shouldn't be cutting away thick healthy branches, but ones that aren't essential to the bushes growth or support. When thinning bushes out, focus on the spindly branches and remove a decent percentage of them, even the ones closest to the bottom of the tree. It may not seem like it will do much, but removing these small branches will bring in a lot more oxygen flow. If you are pruning unhealthy branches or ones that are dead or diseased, you don't have to cut back all the way to the trunk. Instead, cut to where the branch is healthy again. Be careful though, because you don't want to accidentally leave behind any of the disease.
The great thing is that improper pruning rarely leads to fatality, unless it is done consistently wrong for an extended period of time. Therefore, you shouldn't be intimidated when you first approach the task. For your first time, take it slow and make cautious selection of the branches you will cut. The bush will tell you whether or not you made a mistake by not flowering or through stunted growth. Keep an eye on it for the next couple of weeks and see how it responds.