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Old 03-11-2012, 10:31 AM   #1
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help with trimming some bushes and trees

hi, I was wondering if there was a specific way to trim any of the following items in my yard. This landscaping came with the house, and not an expert on it. Any info on how to take care of these plants, or what they are would be most helpful. Thanks.

Item 1 . not sure if its suppose to look like that, if not how and what to trim

item 2, Should I trim it to be a round shape?

Item 3 . This is a small tree that blooms in the summer, last summer it seems like the weight of the flowers made it really droopy. Like the branches were close to the ground. I feel I should trim it back to be be a little smaller, but what section of the branches should I cut.

Item 4. In the middle of the winter I just noticed the top of this maple, the top 20% of the tree looks dead. Can this be saved. Can I just chop the top off and try to reshape the sides? Its about a 30ft tree.

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Old 03-11-2012, 12:34 PM   #2
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Search on apical dominance for trimming guidelines.
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Old 03-11-2012, 06:25 PM   #3
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1st pic is a weeping blue atlas cedar and it is planted much too close to your house. if you want to keep it there now is a good time to prune. Use hand pruners to direct any new growth in the direction you want it to grow. Don't be shy- you can remove at lot.

#2 looks like a spirea- hard to tell what species and variety. Some bloom on new growth some bloom on old growth. You could shear the plant by 1/3 or 1/2 and it will look fine when it pushes new growth.

#3 looks like Hydrangea Grandiflora, which blooms in the summer on new growth, so you could prune it hard without losing this season's flowers.

#4 your tree looks bad. You could remove the dead center and train a new leader, but you would be better off removing and starting fresh.

As a rule-of-thumb; prune spring flowering shrubs (which generally bloom on old growth) just after they finish flowering. Prune summer and fall flowering shrubs (which generally bloom on new growth) in the winter or very early spring.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:16 AM   #4
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You should invest in good pruning guide. Your nursery can make recommendations or check a few out of the library first. If you can find a copy of "How to Prune Almost Everything" grab it even if used. Abe Books or some used book database may have it. I am pretty sure it has been out of print for awhile. I had lots of pruning books but probably used that simple little guide the most of any.
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