21 February 2017

Rejuvenation Pruning 101

Pruning is an important aspect of plant maintenance to keep plants looking and performing their best. In order to get the most out of your plants, trees, and shrubs, you should prune at the right time each season. Understanding the how, what, why, and when of rejuvenation pruning will give you the basic knowledge needed for a healthy, vibrant landscape.

What is Rejuvenation Pruning?

There are several types of pruning. For example, renewal pruning is done over the course of several years. Rejuvenation pruning or hard pruning, on the other hand, is more severe and involves lopping off the plant’s stems and branches until it is at or near ground level (roughly 6-12 inches above the ground).

Why Do Plants Need Rejuvenation Pruning?

Rejuvenation pruning is the cutting back of a plant, tree, or shrub for purposes of:

·         Removing dead or overgrown limbs or branches

·         Shaping or thinning the plant

·         Promoting healthy, new growth

·         Keep plants vital longer

Though you initially only have a stump remaining when doing rejuvenation pruning, provided you’ve timed your pruning properly, the plant usually rejuvenates very quickly.

When Does Plant Material Need Rejuvenation Pruning?

It is recommended that plants are pruned at the end of winter and in the early spring before new buds start producing. Cutting too soon makes the plant vulnerable to any late-winter freezes or cold weather conditions; however, waiting too late means the plant won’t grow as robustly as it would (or at all) if it was pruned at the right time. Poor timing adds stress to the plant.

For the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast Region, which encompasses our area of South Walton Beach, February temperatures represent “late winter / early spring” making it the ideal time to hard prune your plants.

Which Plants Should be Pruned?

There are several plants that respond well to this type of pruning such as ligustrums and pittosporums. It is important to know whether or not the plants along your landscape do better with a hard pruning (which is usually only necessary every 3-5 years) or to a more gradual style of pruning. If you work with a landscape maintenance company, they can advise on what to prune and to what degree.

Rejuvenation pruning is an excellent way to keep your landscape’s plants healthy, vital, and productive. By pruning correctly during the optimal time of year, you will reap the benefits of maintaining and enviable landscape year round.

Budgeting for Rejuvenational Pruning

Due to the additional labor and cost of removing and disposing of the debris, rejuvenational pruning is not traditionally included in a landscape maintenance agreement and can be a large expense to incur. For larger properties, it is recommended that rejuvenational pruning take place on different plant varieties from one year to the next or divide the pruning up by sections within the property.


 GPL Landscaping has extensive experience with rejuvenation pruning. Contact us to learn more about our many residential and commercial landscape maintenance services.

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