Week 19:

“LIMBING UP” YOUR SHRUBS

Many of us have experienced a small evergreen shrub planted many years ago growing into a massive clump that crowds out walkways, driveways or garden beds.

The simple solution to this problem is to “limb up” the shrub from the ground up to a height of three to six feet. This process involves cutting the bottom limbs flush to the trunk and exposing the stem structure of the plant.

Rhododendrons, holly and juniper respond well to this type of pruning with the result being an interesting display of stems and branches. The diameter or footprint of shrubs pruned in this fashion can be reduced by twenty to fifty per cent and opens up new planting areas for shade loving plants.

This type of pruning also allows additional light and air to reach the inner shrub which tends to eliminate the problem of mealy bug and sooty mold which many large shrubs of this type tend to have.

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