Tag Archive: Pruning

Landscape Pruning

Properely pruned plants will produce vigroous new growth and ample new flowers. While these roses were pruned in February, it will be time to prune azaleas right after bloom.

Properely pruned plants will produce vigroous new growth and ample new flowers. Even though these roses were pruned in February, soon it will be time to prune azaleas, right after they finish their bloom.

Pruning is something all homeowners and landscapers know is one of the many chores to be completed in the landscape. Everyone recognizes that pruning needs to be done on occasion, but it can be confusing to know how to prune the variety of species that can be in a landscape. There are some simplistic principles that can be followed while pruning.

Reasons for pruning:

  1. Training – to form good structure or good branching.
  2. Maintain plant vigor
  3. Control plant form and size
  4. Influence plant flowering and fruit

When to prune?

Several factors need to be considered when deciding the proper time to prune.  If the plant species has a showy  bloom to then consider the time of year it blooms. Some landscape plants flower on last years growths, therefore must be pruned following bloom time just before the flower buds are set for next year (ex. azaleas, spireas, and dogwoods).  Plants grown with little regard to blooms, such as foliage plants like hollies, can be pruned from January to late Summer.

Learn More:

the following are great extension publications on pruning.  read these to learnt he finer details of pruning so you can become an expert.  Always remember to call your local extension office if you have any questions regarding pruning.

UF/IFAS – Pruning Landscape Shrubs and Trees

Alabama Cooperative Extension – Pruning Ornamental Plants

UF/IFAS Pruning website

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Author: Blake Thaxton – bthaxton@ufl.edu

Santa Rosa County Extension Agent I, Commercial Horticulture

Blake Thaxton

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/05/19/landscape-pruning/

Pro Hort Series: Tree Pruning

 

Thursday, November 3, 8am-12pm. ProHort Series: Tree Pruning. Escambia County Central

Office Complex 3363 West Park Place Pensacola, FL 32505

 

16_santarosa_tree_pruning_flyer_email

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/10/22/pro-hort-series-tree-pruning/

This Fall: Pause Before Pruning Spring Blooming Shrubs

This Fall: Pause Before Pruning Spring Blooming Shrubs

Azaleas pruned late in the fall will have little or no bloom in the spring. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

Azaleas pruned late in the fall will have little or no bloom in the spring. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

 

As fall approaches, our spring blooming shrubs such as gardenia, spirea and azalea begin to look unkempt and overgrown. That means it is time to give them a severe pruning to get them ready for winter, right? Not so fast, take a minute to understand the growth habit of each species before diving in with the pruning shears.

Azalea:

Many do not understand that annual spring azalea bloom could be sacrificed completely by pruning spring blooming azaleas at the wrong time.

Pruning traditional azaleas in the fall will result in a loss of spring bloom the following year because most bloom on previous years’ wood. This means that they flower on growth put on throughout the previous growing season. If a gardener removes the previous season’s new growth, they are removing the blooms as well.

So, when is the proper time to prune azaleas? The ideal time to prune is directly after the spring bloom. This will give the plant enough time to generate abundant new growth, thus maximizing bloom next spring.

Even the developers of the Encore Azalea, a new repeat blooming type, recommend pruning as soon after the spring bloom as possible to maximize bloom set for the following year.

For more information on pruning azaleas or on general azalea culture, please read the UF / IFAS publication Azaleas at a Glance or check out the Pruning Azalea page on Gardening in a Minute.

Gardenia:

Gardenia, Image Credit Dan Culbert.

Gardenia, Image Credit Dan Culbert.

Gardenias don’t need much pruning except to remove any dead or non-productive wood, to help them remain bushy, and to remain the same size as other plants in the landscape. Choose a cultivar that will mimic the size of other shrubs, not one too large for the area. Pruning should be done as soon after the summer bloom as possible. Pruning after the beginning of fall will reduce the next year’s bloom production.  Know your cultivar. Some cultivars of gardenia flower on new wood as well as old, while some flower on old wood only.

Spirea:

Regarding spirea, prune after the bloom as needed. The closer to the late summer or autumn, the greater negative effect pruning will have on bloom quality since spirea set their bloom in early autumn.

I hope this article prevented a few pruning disasters as well as started a thinking process for the act of pruning your landscape plants.

 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/09/09/this-fall-pause-before-pruning-spring-blooming-shrubs/

Tips For Properly Pruning Muscadines

Tips For Properly Pruning Muscadines

Figure 1.  Mature muscadine grapevine. Credit: Peter C. Andersen, UF/IFAS Extension

Figure 1. Mature muscadine grapevine.
Credit: Peter C. Andersen, UF/IFAS Extension

Last year, I wrote an article for this newsletter about late bearing muscadine cultivars. There are many early, mid, and late bearing cultivars, and a list can be found in the publication: The Muscadine GrapeAugust is the very beginning of the muscadine harvest in the Florida Panhandle, which may last through October. Contrary to popular opinion, however, vine pruning should not follow harvest, and should be delayed until winter.

Once harvest concludes, it is usually a grower’s natural inclination to immediately prune their muscadine vines. Pruning after harvest in early fall is not, however,  best for maintaining plant condition and optimizing next year’s yield, especially if there is an early frost. Early frosts can surprise the plant before sugars have been moved to the roots for storage during dormancy. Therefore, waiting to prune in mid-January to mid-March will ensure that the vine has had adequate time to go dormant and acclimate to the winter season.

K.T. Kelly and JH. D. Gray, MREC/ UF / IFS Extension  2003

K.T. Kelly and JH. D. Gray, MREC/ UF/IFAS Extension 2003

Muscadines flower and fruit on shoots from the current, not previous, years growth. These new bearing shoots arise from the leaf axils of the previous years’ growth. Pictured above is the bi-lateral cordon training system. This is the most popular system for muscadine production. Pruning must be performed to maintain this configuration. If vines are too vigorous, it is acceptable to prune lightly throughout the growing season.

Vines must also be trimmed before weeds are sprayed with herbicides to at least 2 feet above the ground. Nonselective systemic herbicides will not harm grapevines with hardened bark, but must not come in contact with green tissue, or it will be translocated to the roots and damage the plant.

Using the bi-lateral cordon system, there are two main branches or “cordons” of the vine. Along each cordon, fruiting spurs should be spaced approximately every six inches. Each fruiting spur should contain 2-4 nodes.

If fruiting spurs become more than one foot from the cordon, it is time for spur renewal. This is typically done every 3-6 years. Entire spurs can be removed, if they lose productivity and are replaced by new shoots. Additionally, cordons may lose productivity or die off after 5 to 10 years of production. If this occurs, simply remove the cordon and train a new or existing branch into a new cordon.

Pruning with a design in mind, and at the proper time will enhance the performance and longevity of muscadine vineyards.

Information from this article was derived from The Muscadine Grape

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/08/08/tips-for-properly-pruning-muscadines/

Muscadines Benefit From Timely and Artful Pruning

Muscadines Benefit From Timely and Artful Pruning

Muscadine cluster Credit: Peter C. Andersen, UF/IFAS Extension

Muscadine cluster Credit: Peter C. Andersen, UF/IFAS Extension

Muscadines are a terrific grapey treat this time of year ’till fall throughout North Florida. To grow muscadines well in the home garden, care must be taken when pruning to maximize spatial efficiency and yield.

August is the very beginning of the muscadine harvest in the Florida Panhandle, which may last until October. Therefore it is also the time to begin thinking about pruning.

Once harvest concludes, it is usually a gardeners’ natural inclination to immediately prune their muscadine vines. This fast action is not the best for plant condition and next year’s yield, especially if there is an early frost. Early frosts surprise the plant before sugars have been moved to the roots for storage during dormancy. Therefore, waiting to prune in mid January to mid March will ensure that the vine has had adequate time to go dormant and acclimate to the winter season. A good rule of thumb is to wait to prune until bud swell or even first leaves emerge. This will greatly reduce the chance that vines are damaged by late frosts.

 

K.T. Kelly and JH. D. Gray, MREC/ UF/IFAS Extension 2003

K.T. Kelly and JH. D. Gray, MREC/ UF/IFAS Extension 2003

Muscadines flower and fruit on shoots from current, not previous, years growth. These new bearing shoots arise from the leaf axils of the previous years’ growth. Pictured above is the bi-lateral cordon training system. This is the most popular system for muscadine production. Pruning must be performed to maintain this configuration. If vines are too vigorous, it is acceptable to prune lightly throughout the growing season.

Vines must also be trimmed before herbicide application at least 2 feet from the ground. Nonselective systemic herbicides don’t harm tissue with bark, but must not come in contact with green tissue or it will be translocated to the roots and damage the plant.

Using a bi-lateral cordon system, there are two main branches or “cordons” of the vine. Along each cordon, fruiting spurs should be spaced approximately every six inches. Each fruiting spur should contain 2-4 nodes.

If fruiting spurs become more than one foot from the cordon, it is time for spur renewal. This is typically done every 3-6 years. Entire spurs can be removed if they lose productivity and replaced by new shoots. Additionally, cordons may lose productivity or die off after 5 to 10 years of production. If this occurs, simply remove the cordon and train a new or existing branch into a new cordon.

Pruning with a design in mind and at the proper time will enhance performance and longevity of muscadines in the home garden.

 

Information from this article was derived from HS763 The Muscadine Grape

Peter C. Andersen, Timothy E. Crocker and Jacque Breman

Also see Basic Considerations for Pruning Grapevines

 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/08/03/muscadines-benefit-from-timely-and-artful-pruning/

Rose Pruning – A Pictorial Guide

Rose Pruning – A Pictorial Guide

It is said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Please follow as a favorite shrub rose, Belinda’s Dream, is pruned.

 

Belinda's Dream Rose - Before pruning, with dense thick growth. Time to open this plant up !

Belinda’s Dream Rose – Before pruning, with dense thick growth. Time to open this plant up !

 

Start pruning by removing dead and diseased wood. Next remove crossing or rubbing branches, unproductive old growth and weak spindly growth

Start pruning by removing dead and diseased wood. Next remove crossing or rubbing branches, unproductive old growth and weak spindly growth

Shorten remaining growth by about half and look ! Your rose is pruned and ready to bear large flowers on long stems for another season !

Shorten remaining growth by about half and look ! Your rose is pruned and ready to bear large flowers on long stems for another season !

 

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Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/05/rose-pruning-a-pictorial-guide/

Pruning Azaleas for Colorful Springs to Come

Pruning Azaleas for Colorful Springs to Come

UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright

UF/IFAS Photo by Thomas Wright

Soon beautiful blooms will come forth from one of the great landscape shrubs that characterize the South. Blooms of many colors will be produced from the azalea. It will be a magnificent show as it is every spring. Annual pruning of azaleas must be very carefully timed to maximize bloom potential. Too early and this years blooms may be cut off, but too late and next years buds may be removed, which will become next years blooms. Therefore, pruning must be timed for the sweet spot on the calendar!

UF/IFAS Photo by Sally Lanigan

UF/IFAS Photo by Sally Lanigan

Azalea blooms are located on last years growth or one year old wood. This makes it very important to wait to prune until after the blooms have occurred in order to capture the colorful spring bloom that azalea gardeners prize. Though many get “Spring Fever” this time of year and cut everything in sight, restraint is in order to prevent bloom loss and not only get green foliage from this years’ azaleas.

 

UF/IFAS Photo by Sally Lanigan

UF/IFAS Photo by Sally Lanigan

Also it is very important to remember that since blooms are formed on one year old wood, azaleas must not pruned too late in the growing season. If pruned too late the plant will not have time to set flower buds on the new growth before fall begins. A good rule of thumb is to never prune an azalea after July 4th.

So when should our wonderful azaleas be pruned?

Never before flowering in the late winter and early spring

  • After flowering as ended in the spring
  • Before July 4th

Please see more information on the care of azaleas in the UF/IFAS publication, Azaleas at a Glance.

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Author: Blake Thaxton – bthaxton@ufl.edu

Santa Rosa County Extension Agent I, Commercial Horticulture

Blake Thaxton

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/02/24/pruning-azaleas-for-colorful-springs-to-come/

Mechanical Pruning of Muscadine Grapevines

Muscadine grapevines  Photo credit:  Pete anderson

Muscadine grapevines Photo credit: Pete Anderson

Muscadine grapes (Vitis rotundifolia Michx.) subgenus Muscadinia are different from European and American bunch grapes (subgenus Euvitis) in chromosome number, vine and berry morphology, and juice characteristics. In contrast to Euvitis grapes, very little data is available concerning training and pruning methods. A two wire vertical training (2WV), a single wire bilateral cordon (BC) and a Geneva double curtain (GDC) training system are often used. The BC system is most common in Florida. The GDC training system has typically resulted in the highest yield, although this system has the highest labor and maintenance costs.

For the commercial production of muscadine grapes, mechanization of pruning and harvest operations is essential for grapes destined to be processed into juice or wine. Fresh market grape production (U-pick, roadside stand, or direct market sales) is primarily limited to large fruited grape cultivars. Although some muscadine grape growers are currently using mechanized pruning, there is little information on the long term effects on yield and berry quality.

A replicated trial of Noble (purple grape) and Welder (bronze grape) muscadine grapevines was established at the North Florida Research and Education Center. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the influence of mechanical pruning (MP) (using a gas-powered hedge trimmer), hand pruning (HP), and MP every year followed by HP every other year (MP + HP) on yield and berry quality of Noble and Welder grapes over a six year period. The treatments represent a minimum (MP), an intermediate (MP + HP) and a maximum (HP) labor requirement.

Average yield across all treatments varied from 16 to 19 t/ha for Noble, to 12 to 14 tons/hectare (t/ha) for Welder (Table 1). (Note that table 1 only contains average values). When data from all years was combined and statistically analyzed, pruning treatment did not influence yield, or berry °Brix, titratable acidity, total °Brix/ha, °Brix/titratable acidity, or pH, with the exception of °Brix of Noble (highest for the HP treatment).  ((Note: °Brix is the sugar content of a solution. One degree Brix (°Brix) is 1 gram of sucrose (sugar) in 100 grams of solution.  It is used to measure sweetness levels in, for example, grapes, sugarcane, etc.))

By contrast, the effect of year was significant for all variables for all cultivars. For MP Noble, yield and °Brix/ha decreased linearly with time. The MP treatment resulted in increasingly tangled spur and shoot growth for both cultivars. Both Noble and Welder subjected to the SMP + HP treatment displayed a strong tendency to bear heavy and light crops in alternate years, with lower yields recorded in years that HP was employed.

Anderson data tableThe labor cost of HP was at least 5 times greater than that of MP. This cost differential would be much greater for commercial pruning utilizing a tractor mounted sickle bar. Light touch up pruning every year or a 90° alteration of an asymmetric pruning scheme every year may be a better alternative to reduce alternate bearing and achieve long-term sustainable yield and juice quality compared to rather drastic hand pruning in alternate years. In conclusion, mechanized pruning is recommended for muscadine grapes destined for processing into juice or wine.

For further information see the following UF/IFAS Resources:

The Muscadine Grape

UF/IFAS Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Grapevine Genetics and Plant Pathology Research Laboratories

 

 

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Author: Peter C. Andersen – pcand@ufl.edu


http://nfrec.ifas.ufl.edu

Peter C. Andersen

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2014/10/17/mechanical-pruning-of-muscadine-grapevines/

Pause Before Pruning Azaleas This Fall

Although Northwest Florida is well known for its beautiful Azalea displays every spring, many do not understand that these shows of bloom could be sacrificed completely by pruning at the wrong time.
Azaleas pruned late in the fall will have little or no bloom in the spring. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

Azaleas pruned late in the fall will have little or no bloom in the spring. Image Credit: Matthew Orwat

Pruning Azaleas in the fall will result in a loss of spring bloom the following year because most bloom on previous years’ wood. This means that they flower on growth put on throughout the previous growing season. If a gardener removes the previous season’s new growth, they are removing the blooms as well.

Fall Pruned Azalea. Image Credit Matthew Orwat

Fall Pruned Azalea. Image Credit Matthew Orwat

So, when is the proper time to prune Azaleas? The ideal time to prune is directly after the spring bloom. This will give the plant enough time to generate abundant new growth, thus maximizing bloom next spring. 

For more information on pruning Azaleas or on general Azalea culture, please read the UF / IFAS publication Azalea’s at a Glance or check out the Pruning Azalea page on Gardening in a Minute.

PG

Author: Matthew Orwat – mjorwat@ufl.edu

Matthew J. Orwat started his career with UF / IFAS in 2011 and is the Horticulture Extension Agent for Washington County Florida. His goal is to provide educational programming to meet the diverse needs of and provide solutions for homeowners and small farmers with ornamental, turf, fruit and vegetable gardening objectives. Please feel free to contact him with any questions you may have.
http://washington.ifas.ufl.edu/lng/about/

Matthew Orwat

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2013/09/17/pause-before-pruning-azaleas-this-fall/