Garden AdviceWhat Trees Can Be Planted Close to a House in the UK
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Spring is here, which means that it’s time to sharpen up your pruning skills! Rainfall and heavy snow might have damaged the trees in your garden and it is your job to help them recover from the winter stress.
Even though it might seem scary to purposely cut the plant, tree pruning is quite natural. There is nothing to be afraid of. By reducing unwanted and damaged materials, you will only stimulate new growth and flowering.
So, if you:
Then keep on reading! In this guide, we will give you tree pruning tips that are easily suitable for both ornamental trees and shrubs.
Even though the majority of people have heard that tree pruning is necessary, not many of them truly understand why this landscaping technique is so important. Let’s look at the reasons.
Trees and shrubs grow quite fast. If not taken care of, they can outgrow their space and become quite bothersome to other plants around them.
Remove the branches that grow too close to other trees, as they might rub against one another during the growing season and get damaged. As the bark wears away, the trees become more susceptible to fungal diseases and pest infestations.
Moreover, overgrown branches can cause shading. If the tree blocks a substantial amount of sunlight, the plants around will produce less energy than they need for healthy growth. Heavy shade can even be lethal for some plants. Unless you have shade-tolerant plants in your garden, it is better to reduce the amount of shade by pruning your trees.
Another very important reason for controlling your tree size is safety. Dry branches and limbs can easily break during storms and potentially cause physical damage to your house. By removing the dry materials, you protect your property from accidental damage.
Also, if the trees are located too close to the gutters, leaves and debris can cause excessive build-up in the gutters. If they are clogged and rainwater has nowhere to go, it might penetrate the areas under your roof, causing damage and leaks. Meaning you’ll have to clean the gutters more often. Even though gutter cleaning is a relatively easy procedure, it is better to remove the overhanging branches to avoid the recurrence of the problem.
You might have heard that pruning encourages plants to grow; however, not everyone understands the science behind it.
If you look at the end of the stem, you can see a terminal bud. This bud releases a hormone that suppresses the growth of the lateral buds. Those are located along the lower part of the stem. If left untouched, the terminal bud will continue growing, slowing the growth process of the rest of the buds.
By cutting off the terminal bud, you will encourage the lateral buds to grow. These shoots will start branching out, creating a bushier and fuller look.
In a forest, trees compete with each other for the site’s light, therefore they have a strong trunk and tall crowns. Unlike in nature, the trees in our gardens don’t have competition around them. Because of that, your trees might develop structural defects in the early years of their growth. Imagine the risks a bent tree can pose to you and your house. To maintain a healthy shape, your trees must be regularly pruned.
Whether you are a garden hobbyist or a master of the horticulture craft, you will need a good pair of shears. Below, you can find a list of the most common pruning tools that you might need to purchase, before moving to the actual pruning.
When it comes to pruning, gardening enthusiasts are often faced with a dilemma: “To prune or not to prune?”. That is, in fact, the question. And it’s no wonder why you might hesitate to cut your trees. After all, one incorrect cut can cause serious damage to the whole tree.
To avoid this, you need to carefully evaluate the effect that branch removal can have on a tree. Ask yourself the following questions:
If after answering the above questions you see that pruning is safe for your trees, you can proceed with it. Here’s what you need to do:
The pruning techniques change with the size of the limbs and branches. Here is how you need to prune branches and limbs of various sizes:
At a short distance from the collar, make a parallel halfway cut. The cut should be located on the underside of the branch. Make a second cut about 2-3 cm above the first one. Continue to cut until the branch breaks loose. Remove the remaining stump. Don’t cut limbs and branches too close to the bark ridge or leave long stumps.
Pruning shrubs is not as hard as you think. You just have to remember several simple steps. By following them, you will definitely be closer to improving your plants’ health. Here is what you need to know about pruning shrubs:
Usually, it is recommended to prune your trees when they are dormant, as it doesn’t affect the growth of the tree and it’s easier to select the branches when they are free from leaves. This is when you should prune your Dogwood, for example.
However, it is important to remember that the pruning time might vary based on the trees’ individual flowering patterns. With this in mind:
When pruning your trees, always look for signs of birds and bird nesting!
For your convenience, we have gathered the most popular garden trees and shrubs in the UK and sorted them by pruning months. Use it as a guide, when pruning your trees and shrubs.
|Trees to prune
|Shrubs and climbers to prune
|Ornamental pear (Pyrus), Beech (Fagus), Hazel (Corylus), Kilmarnock willow
|Aucuba japonica, Deciduous barberry, Brugmansia, Buddleja globosa, Boston ivy, Elder, Ornamental vine (Vitis), Roses (including climbing roses), Virginia creeper, Wisteria
|Acer, Ash, Crab apple (only if cold weather has passed), Quince, Eucalyptus, Willow, Nyssa sylvatica, Persian ironwood, Oak, Ornamental pear (Pyrus), Rowan, Japanese Snowbell
|Billardiera, Hydrangea paniculata, Summer lilac (Buddleja davidii), Chinese plumbago, Mallow, Dogwood , Hazel, Peony tree (dead shoots)
|Crab apple, Eucalyptus, Eucryphia, Talia (before blooming)
|Caryopteris clandonensis, Ceratostigma, Deciduous Ceanothus, Daphnes, Dogwood, Japanese laurels, Winter jasmine, Ivy, Hydrangea paniculata, Fuchsia, Leycesteria, Lavatera, Perovskia, Salix, Snowy mespilus, Cherry laurel, Red and white currants
|Any tree that has damaged material after winter frost
|Salix and Cornus (only at the beginning of the month), Cotinus and Elders can be stooled, Lavender, Santolina, Curry plant, Fuchsia, Camellia japonica
|Young mimosa trees
|Penstemon, Caryopteris and Fuchsia, Evergreen hedges, Flowering quince, Mexican orange blossom (Choysia), Currants, Clematis (right after blooming), Roses (only diseased material)
|Deciduous magnolias, Paulownia
|Privet, Box, Lonicera nitida, Rhododendrons, Rosemary
after flowering: Deutzia, Beauty bush, Weigela, Mock orange
|Stone fruit trees: plums, cherries, peaches and apricots; almonds
|Weigela and Mock orange (after flowering), Tree peony (dead flowers and damaged material), Roses (dead flowers)
|Time to remove large trees that are causing troubles like drought or waterlogging and remove stumps
|Climbing shrubs (after flowering), Lavender (after flowering), Hebes, Rambling roses, Summer fruiting Raspberries
|Final trim for the hedges before winter, Common jasmine (after flowering), Blackberry, Blackcurrant, Pyracantha
|Winter pruning Wisteria, Pyracantha, Climbing roses
Buddleja davidii, Cornus alba, Lavatera – to prevent wind damage
|November – December
|Perfect time for tree pruning, including fruit tree trimming. Exceptions are Prunus species, like cherries, plums, apricots, almonds and tender perennials.
Also, it is a good time to start planning your tree surgeon visit, as trees are best removed when dormant.
|This period is perfect for pruning and tidying up deciduous shrubs and hedges, as they enter the dormant season.
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Find a professional to take care of your property.
We hope you found this information helpful! Let us know your thoughts or questions in the comments down below.
Image source: Shutterstock / Alexander Raths