Is Pruning Really Necessary? Why It’s Important to Prune Trees and Shrubs

Pink blooming ornamental tree in sunny, landscaped yardWe obviously love plants here at Whispering Springs Nursery; after all, we not only grow and sell all sorts of annuals, perennials, trees, and shrubs, but also provide North Georgia homeowners with landscape design and maintenance services. Creating lush, healthy forest landscapes is our passion, which is why we offer expert shrub and ornamental tree pruning among our other landscaping services

You may be wondering why trees and shrubs need to be pruned, especially in a more naturalistic setting like the North Georgia native woodland landscapes that we specialize in. It’s a good question! In natural forest settings, plants aren’t pruned and they manage just fine, right?

Well, they do—in their own way. If a tree is left to its own devices, it can end up growing in all sorts of interesting and unique ways depending on the surrounding environment, but that growth won’t always be attractive, healthy, or even safe. Certain growth patterns can leave the tree open to pests or disease. “Suckers” (the small shoots you may see growing from the base or roots of a tree) can steal water and nutrients from the main tree, leading to unhealthy or stunted growth. When that tree eventually falls and decays, it’s part of the circle of life in the forest… But that doesn’t mean that you want it happening in your front yard or right outside your window. 

Why Shrubs and Trees Need Regular Pruning

In a landscaping setting (even natural/native landscaping), the goal is to create a landscape that is not only beautiful, but also practical and safe. Pruning plants plays a big part in this for several reasons. 

Promoting Healthy Plant Growth

Pruning isn’t about forcing a tree or shrub into an unnatural shape, but rather guiding it as it grows into a strong, healthy, mature plant. By removing dead or dying branches, suckers, or any other “problem” growths, the tree is able to grow into its ideal shape. Pruning also prevents pest insect and animal infestations. 

Bringing Out the Beauty in Your Landscaping

Regular expert pruning of trees and shrubs can also make your landscaping more beautiful by promoting the growth of fruit and flowers. If you have ornamental trees or shrubs in your yard, like cherry, dogwood, redbud, crape myrtle, azalea, forsythia, or rose, both the method and timing of pruning are essential. Improper pruning can cause a range of unfortunate outcomes, from sparse flowering in the spring, to severe disfiguring that the plant may never recover from. 

Protecting People and Property

One of the most important functions of pruning is to protect your family, home, and vehicles from the dangers of fallen branches or trees. A storm can knock branches loose, sending them into your roof, through your car windshield, or onto kids’ play spaces. Sometimes a branch may not fall right away, only to get knocked loose by a brisk wind later when you’re least expecting it. Regular pruning greatly reduces this safety hazard. 

Ready to whip your landscaping plants into shape? Give us a call at 770-893-1254 to learn more about our pruning and landscaping services!