How To Prune Mountain Laurel Flowers

How to prune mountain laurel trees is a question that many people wonder about. This plant is a prized ornamental tree in the United States, in both the Eastern and the Western states. The tree grows to a height of approximately 50 feet tall, with a spreading trunk that can reach several feet across. The tree features straight, upright growth, with dense, pendulous foliage that hangs in clusters from the branches.

The needles of mountain laurel change in color as they mature, from golden yellow to a deep burgundy. They are small, about one-half inch long, with pointed tips and a sharp, hard edge. The twigs of this evergreen shrub are short, stiff, dark green, leathery, and bushy. These characteristics make it an excellent shape for pruning, with the main focus being the growth and structure of the branches. Pruning is most successful in the late spring or early summer, when the tree’s full growth is completed.

Climbers, runners, and people who sit or stand on the ground while walking or moving around in the yard should not cut the main branches or even the lower branches of this evergreen. To do this, the clipper must be handled with care and the angle of the blade increased to allow more even treatment of the shrub. Moving branches and crossing branches can be a health hazard if not attended to properly. Clipping is best done when the branches are young and close to the ground. Care should be taken to avoid cutting through the heartwood, which is the dense, tough part of the trunk.

Occasional pruning of the back and bottom should be done during the growing season, but pruning should only be done when the tree appears healthy and dense. The timing for this is different for each variety, depending on the location of the tree. If the branches have long roots that are difficult to work, it is best to pull them as opposed to cutting them. Also, it is always important to remember that pruning is never done to thin out a thick, lush bush. Always use sharp, clean tools and never pull prunes.

Cleaning tools should be used for pruning. This includes both hands, and a wide-toothed brush with narrow pointed teeth. When cutting branches that are close to the ground or that grow wider than the width of the brush, clipping only one side of the branch at a time is usually best. The clean pruning tools should be used to minimize scarring where branches cross. However, if crossing branches are a concern, make sure that there is not a significant difference in width between the two branches.

Spring care starts in late winter or early spring, when new growth is about to burst from the soil. If there is a dead spot, it may be filled with new growth and topped off with a new broom. If no new growth is present, it may be necessary to remove old, dead branches. This can usually be accomplished by hand, but a hedge trimmer or a hedge puller should suffice.

Pruning in the spring is best done when the tops of the plants have bloomed all the way through. Older plants often do not need their branches trimmed back until they begin to wilt. At this point, any vigorous movement can cause damage to the bark, which may eventually cause disease. Once the plants have started to flower and the sap flow has stopped, any vigorous action on the pruned branches should be performed with care.

It is always important to use sharp tools when pruning mountain laurel bushes. The right tool is used for the job. A pair of wire cutters with sharp points will do the job far better than a pair of garden shears. However, if you plan to use other tools, like rippers, it is important to keep in mind that each tool will have its own purpose and use. Not every type of cutter will work well on every type of bush.

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