Different plants can be pruned at different times of the year, but in general the majority of plants can tolerate an Autumn hair cut. The reason the autumn is a good time to do your trimming is because plants are finished growing for the season and are beginning to enter dormancy for the long winter. It is also not to warm out which makes the physical work more bearable.
How to trim
Normally when trimming we recommend to caution on the side of a heavy pruning as oppose to a light touch up. By keeping a plant tight it will be a sturdier plant and will not out grow the location it is planted in. On the flip side a light prune will cause the plant to grow leggier over time and more prone to breaking from snow damage, wind damage or other factors resulting from a weak branch structure.
When it comes to shaping there is not a right or wrong shape to pick, but should be chosen to compliment the other plants in the area. Examples of this would be an upright evergreen normally would be pruned into a conical shape, small shrubs in the foreground generally will be rounded and the height kept in check so they always stay shorter.
After the shaping is complete is is now time to clean up. Generally a rake can be used to make a pile of trimmings then picked up with a shovel and dumped into a pail. The best use for these trimming would be as compost so the nutrients can be re-absorbed into the environment. Larger branches will need to either be chipped up or sent out as it will take a while for anything of size to compost. A good method to use if you use gravel in your garden as oppose to mulch would be to lay a tarp down on the floor for all the trimmings to fall into. This tarp can easily be picked up and dumped into a pail.
This is a brief overview on the art of trimming but there is always more to learn. At Wiesner’s we offer professional trimming services and would also be happy to answer any questions the aspiring Gardner has if they want to take it on themselves. Feel free to Contact us or stop into the nursery for any advice needed.