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Taking care of the greens in your front and back yard requires meticulous attention and work. As with most things, upkeep of garden shrubs and trees needs to properly timed. Joshua Siskin of the Los Angeles Daily News expounds on some issues in tree care that Palo Alto and the Bay Areas may be concerned with.


“There are a number of factors that determine when a plant will bloom. It is important to know what these factors are in order to understand whether your plant’s flowers, or lack of them, are the result of warm winter weather, drought or some other factor.”

Both pruning and trimming involve the process of cutting the loose or dead ends of trees. The difference lies in the purpose. Pruning is more for the growth of the tree and surrounding plants. On the other hand, trimming is more aesthetic in nature. The methods employed follow the principles of arbor services and horticulture.

Trees and shrubs are pruned to stimulate tree growth. As Joshua Siskin explains,

“pruning entails an invigorating process. Terminal shoot buds produce hormone that is continuously sent down the shoot, inhibiting growth of lateral buds below. When these terminal buds are snipped off, growth of lateral buds is no longer inhibited and side shoots begin to sprout.”

Trims may be done on hedges, small trees, and large trees. Overgrown branches and uneven growths may decrease the landscape’s curb appeal and even cause the total destruction of precious trees. To remedy this, calculated snips and cuts are employed. Reduction of the tree’s crowns, branches, or sprouts are employed as aesthetic pruning to reveal otherwise covered views (vista pruning).

Pruning and trimming will allow effective flowering and fruition, especially for blooming shrubs and deciduous fruit trees. If trees are left untouched and are neglected, neighboring plants may be compromised or ruined, and the tree’s growth itself may be inhibited. The ends of branches may accumulate weight enough to fall off and harm adjacent plants (and even people!)

The timing for tree care regimen is recommended during the dormant phases. To determine these opportune times, it is best to hire a licensed arbor contractor like Bay Area Tree Specialists versed in tree care and tree pruning in Palo Alto locales. Certified arborists can recommend solutions to landscape concerns and ensure the health and safety of evergreen trees.

(Source: When weather fluctuates — do plants suffer?, Los Angeles Daily News, MMMM DD, 2014)