Pruning is one of the major tasks that we perform each year. If we have lots of moisture in May and June it starts to look as if we live in more tropical climes. The growth is just spectacular and abundant. This means we will spend two months pruning landscapes.
We do almost 90% of our pruning by hand using shears only on plants that clients like to see this look. Hand pruning gives us the ability to shape plants according to their natural shape. It also allows us to maintain this natural shape while letting light into the core of the plant and also maintaining plants to a certain size. This can be due to space limitations or simply the client’s wish to have a plant maintained at a certain size. Plants like Repandans Yew and Cherry Laurel can be pruned by selecting branches that are elongating and cutting them back inside the plant so that you are reducing the overall size of the plant, allowing light into the center and hiding all your cuts at the same time. Take a plant such as the Procumbens Juniper that has grown to the edge of the sidewalk. The only way lots of contractors cut this is with their line trimmer creating a wall of brown, unattractive Juniper. Using the hand pruning technique we are able to, in one session; remove the dead buildup from underneath the plant and allowing the beautiful top foliage to fall naturally to the edge of the pavement. This can be done year after year maintaining a nice, natural edge to the Juniper.
As is the usual in the Washington, DC metro area the Summer weather is pretty predictable. We are going to see hot, humid weather. The months of May and June were perfect incubators for fungal diseases as we had an abundance of rain with many days of constant cloudiness. Trees such as Sycamore saw their expanding leaves hit hard with fungus and defoliate. Cherries too. Sycamores have refoliated while Cherries and Amelanchiers will be ok but will not set new leaves. Lots of bizarre fungi are decorating our mulched beds. I normally see this on beds mulched with hardwood mulch but this is the first year I am seeing it in beds with shredded pine mulch.