Backyard Landscape – The “Best” Time to Trim

Knowing the best time to trim

If you are creating a full yard landscape and using trees, shrubs, hedges, and other larger plants to tie everything together you must take into account how much trimming, or pruning, you are setting yourself up for.

Keeping your plants trimmed is an ongoing process and one that can be a lot more like work than “gardening”. Regardless trimming must be done if you are to keep the visual impact of your overall design you want.

How many times have you passed a property that is so overgrown that you can barely see the house itself? These properties are examples of what happens when perfectly good landscaping is not kept in check and is allowed to overgrow the lot.

I believe this happens, more often than not, because the owner has bought into the notion that there is a “right” time to trim and then misses that perfect window for a year or two.


I will not argue that some plants will recover more quickly when trimmed at certain times but almost all larger species will do just fine regardless of when they are trimmed. To wait another year for the window that the experts say is perfect will just do two things:

* Allow your plantings another year to grow even larger and more out of shape than they are now
* Make your work just that much harder next year

A much better practice is to do light trimming when it is needed than to wait. Such regular trimming is both easier on the plants than a single heavy trimming once a year but it will also encourage your plants to fill out in all directions instead of just up and out.

Please keep in mind that this all supposed to be fun so the easier you can make each individual task the more enjoyment you will have. So keep the hedge cutter well maintained and schedule yourself for an occasional tree prune session and you will present a well groomed, beautiful yard all year.