The growing season in Southwest Florida doesn’t take much time off. That means that, in addition to keeping your grass mowed year-round, you want to make sure your trees and hedges stay maintained. They’re not going to stop growing, so that means maintenance has to be kept up. Having well-groomed trees and hedges improves the curb appeal of your property, while also keeping these plants healthy and looking good as they keep a consistent size and shape. In this article, your Fort Myers outdoor professionals at Peer Landscaping will explore the importance of proper pruning for your trees and hedges in Southwest Florida.
There’s more than one way to prune.
Pruning is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor with a single technique. Light pruning, for example, entails trimming your trees and hedges once every few weeks—typically removing old growth from the plants. Lightly pruning your plants often means the plants’ foliage only—their leaves and flowers. This typically entails removing 2-4 inches of growth, along with any dead branches. In many HOA communities, the landscapers come and “shape” trees and bushes, but don’t pay attention to what the branches look like or where they may be cutting them in the wrong places. The employees at Peer Landscaping have been properly educated in how to prune plants in a way that keeps their growth healthy and beautiful. It’s important to do this regularly, but you also need to have us do a heavier pruning once or twice a year as well.
Heavy pruning is performed once or twice a year and will remove a minimum of 6 inches of growth and may remove as much as a foot, along with most visible foliage. This might seem drastic but it’s actually better for the health and appearance of your trees and shrubs.
Heavy pruning helps your trees, hedges, and flowering shrubs look their best. They maintain a consistent look for your home or business. Without pruning, hedges and grasses can invade landscaping beds. Heavy pruning in Southwest Florida avoids that messy look, while also serving to rejuvenate your plants.
The benefits of heavy pruning
New growth: The climate of Southwest Florida—with its high heat and humidity, combined with sea-salt air—can be hard on plant life. Heavy pruning can help by promoting new growth in your plants. When this new growth comes in, it will look more lush and full, the catalyst in a rejuvenation process that will continue throughout the entire year—until it’s time for another round of heavy pruning. Once pruning is complete, new, strong, healthy branches will grow while nutrients are distributed equally throughout the entire structure of your tree or shrub.
Safety: An overgrown plant can obstruct sidewalks and driveways. This could create a tripping hazard or make it more perilous to pull out of your driveway if your shrubs and trees are so overgrown that they’re obscuring your view of the road. Branches that are overgrown could fall on your roof, your vehicle, or even a power line.
Whenever we are creating a new landscape design, we are careful about the future size of anything we are installing. But we are aware that many people add plants and trees to their landscape on their own. If you are planting new trees, research their full height and width at maturity before planting them under power lines to mitigate possible hazards.
Hurricane season will be here before we know it, and for homeowners and business owners like you in Southwest Florida, hiring us to heavy prune your trees and shrubs prior to the season can limit your risk of property damage. Heavy pruning eliminates weak and dead limbs and branches, or overgrown canopies that can wreak havoc in the high winds and heavy rains of a tropical storm or hurricane.
Pests: An infestation can be a nuisance or threaten to kill your plants. Insects and pests also can spread from one plant to others, jeopardizing all your trees and shrubs. Even if your plants survive, their integrity and strength can be compromised, increasing the risk of falling branches. Regular heavy pruning, to remove any weak or dead branches, also eliminates potential safe harbors for insects and pests to infest your plants.
Aesthetics: Heavy pruning helps to maintain the outdoor view of your home, both from inside and to those in your neighborhood. This is especially true if your home is adjacent to the beach, canals, or any other kind of naturally beautiful vistas. Overgrown trees could block that view, and with it, hinder the curb appeal of your home.
Health: Sunlight is the biggest key to having healthy, flourishing trees and shrubs. An overly thick canopy of branches can make it difficult or even impossible for the sun to reach every part of the tree, thereby hindering its growth. Heavy pruning thins these canopies, allowing full sunlight exposure for the rest of your plants.
When Should Heavy Pruning Be Done?
As mentioned earlier, heavy pruning is most effective if done once per year. We recommend pruning in the summer, when rains are more likely, between the months of May and August. The increased rains allow faster recovery for your trees and shrubs, and a quicker production of new growth. You may still want to trim certain trees and shrubs; this can happen at any time of the year in Southwest Florida, thanks to the climate that stays warm almost year-round. If you’re one of the thousands of snowbirds in Southwest Florida, we recommend having us perform a hard pruning before departing for elsewhere for the season.
Not all plants are created equal. Each variety and species of plant has its own rate of growth, which can be placed into one of three categories: slow, moderate, and fast. Any type of plant requires pruning at some point. The more quickly it grows, naturally, the more often it needs to be pruned. Our expert landscapers at Peer Landscaping will know when your plants need to be pruned and how often. They’ll also know that certain plants should be pruned lightly, instead—such as thyrallis and liriope. Only a landscaper who is educated on all the species of plant in Southwest Florida will have the information to identify these plants and maintain them the right way.
Pruning in Fort Myers
At Peer Landscaping, we pride ourselves on hand pruning each item in a client’s yard. This allows a level of dexterity and precision in pruning to avoid damaging the plant’s skin, while also maintaining it to ensure optimum longevity and growth. Pruning is just one of the services we offer. To find out more, call the pros at Peer Landscaping today at (239) 645-6455. We proudly serve residential and commercial customers in Fort Myers and throughout the surrounding areas of Southwest Florida.