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Trimming Shrubs ?


LawnSite Member
Louisville, ky
Hey guy, I need some advice. I live in Louisville, KY zone 6. I'm just starting out my business this year. Looking really promising for the mowing season. Business is really picking up. My question is I had a guy call and ask me to trim some shrubs for him. Most of them are small evergreen....maybe boxwood not sure. Then there are a couple of bigger bushes that I'm not sure what they are. They don't have any leaves on them yet. My question is when is the proper time to trim and shape these? Will it do damage if I do it now? Any advice will be appreciated by this newby. Love this forum by the way. It's been a big help in me getting things off the ground.


LawnSite Member
Just trimming and shaping shouldn't be a problem any time of year but heavy trimming should be done in spring and fall on almost all plants


LawnSite Member
Lancaster S.C
You could trim now but the new spring growth will be out in a couple of months you might want to wait until then unless the customer wants another trim that soon .


LawnSite Member
I would recommend identifying the plant before doing ANY trimming.

Some plants grow on old wood, so trimming them now would stunt there new growth for this year and in the case of a flowering plant you will lose the color in the landscape. You really need to identify the plants and not just do the spring and fall are the best times, because that's not the case. Some like to be pruned immediately after flowering, some can be sheared down drastically at certain times, etc., etc., etc.

Do yourself a favor (and the customer) and buy a few books on plants, specifically shrubs and small trees. Some will give you ideas on how to identify them and when and how it is best to trim. Some can take to heavy shearing, others, for example azaleas, do not like to be sheared, but rather pruned. Hope this helps some.

Scape Sculptor

LawnSite Member
If you are not sure what the plant is, you would be better off passing on the pruning job. I see to many butchered Trees and Shrubs by bad pruning jobs. No offense...Just my opinion.


LawnSite Senior Member
so even if the shrub is starting to bud and it is a over grown and really should be trimmed

what about if there are buds on the tips and more slightly downthe branch and you just cut a little still leaving buds lower on the branches is tat ok


LawnSite Fanatic
Beaverton, OR
My opinion; no LCO should prune any plants without first reading one or two books on pruning. I see WAY too many hack jobs every day from LCOs who have no clue what they are doing. Do yourself a favor and educate yourself a little bit. It's not that hard.

First book I recommend is Ortho's "All About Pruning." It's a great book and it explains all of the basic concepts of pruning. You could read the important parts in just one night and the book's only like $10. Get it at any bookstore or home depot.

Two other good books are Sunset's "Pruning" and Time / Life Books' "Pruning and Grafting."

But if you'll just get and read the first book I mentioned it will answer every question you've asked on this thread and more!