May 22, 2012

{ Tips for Tuesday } Trim that Shrub

Whoa whoa whoa… this is a PG…13 blog here. Get your mind out of the gutter! Yeah, you know who you are…

I have been working my tail off at the new house trying to get everything looking good. My husband cares more about large trees, grass, and anything with the up keep of buildings whereas my passion is definitely in the garden. I love to weed over grown beds and I especially love how a garden bed looks with a fresh blanket of mulch. Since I have had so much practice with gardening I figured I would share some tips on how to make your shrubs around the house look the best they can be! Don’t settle for overgrown just because “their still alive” get out there and give them some love.

Here is my project for the day. No… there should not be all the growth at the base and up through the core of the shrub. Plus if you have any plants that close to a fence, house or building, you should prune them back so they don’t start damaging the property.


{ What you will need }

Loppers, Hand Pruners, and Hand Saw

IMG_0803  IMG_0813

{ Where to start }

I always start with removing the larger growth at the base of the shrub with the loppers. You want to make sure that you are cutting the stems at the correct angle so that you do not damage the shrub. By not cutting properly your plant could be prone to plant diseases.


You can tell the new growth by the green color in the stem and the flexibility. You will want to cut these stems at the lowest point that you can get to the base.

All cuts should be at a 45 degree angle.


{ Now what }

After I have removed all of the larger growth from the base (as shown above) I then go in with my hand saw to remove larger branches (more then 2 inches in diameter). To do this I use my friend the hand saw. { Seriously, if you do not own one of these bad boys go get one! I started using them during my time working in college at the Horticulture Farm and I will forever own one of my own. You can buy them at any Lowes or Home Depot}

If you look at the picture above you will see that the shrub is heavy (fuller) on the right side. We had a really bad storm hit before the move and this shrub got ripped in half. To help it grow back on the left side we need to remove the dead branches to allow new growth to take that space.


Again, go to the base of the branch and saw at an angle. If you want a work out this is great too! Continue to removed all dead branches.


{ Are we done yet? }

Almost, I promise! Now what I like to do is go into the shrub with my hand sheers and cut off most of the little suckers left over at the base and up the main branches of the plant. This makes the tree open up and the more light that gets let in the better!


It’s always nice to have a little helper around as well! He was a good little guard dog to my tools.


I know it seems like a ton of work but really this only took me 15 minutes and one wheel barrow to beautify this shrub.



{ After }


Doesn’t that just make you smile. :) My plans for this bed is to add a few Hostas that are over grown in the back of the house. This will help fill in the dead space in the bed that will help cure some of the weeds coming up as well. I’ll definitely be posting another tips for Tuesday on how to split and replant Hostas in the near future.

If you have any questions please comment :)

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