Are you thinking about shaping up your special ornamental trees and shrubs? December, January, and February are ideal months to prune your plants. Our Technicians are highly trained to care for your most precious plants, pruning them properly to maintain their natural growth characteristics.   


A beautiful Dogwood tree in full bloom that we professionally pruned.

Several years earlier, this tree was “rescued” from demise and replanted in hopes that it would survive. It did survive but presented us with an interesting pruning challenge. We first profiled this tree in our Blog on Technical Pruning.

A-Form Dogwood tree
A “rescued” Dogwood Tree Prior to Technical Pruning

This rescued Dogwood tree exhibited high apical dominance. In other words, it pushed for a central leader to bring itself skyward (referred to as an A-Form tree for Apical dominance). Focusing on this upward growth pattern, we set out to prune this tree while preserving its natural characteristics. 

Our first challenge was to choose the branch that will best serve as the central leader for the upward growth pattern. Following the trunk up from the base, we chose the branch that was a clear extension of the trunk. Interestingly, this branch was neither the tallest nor the largest in diameter. In order to promote the growth of this central leader, we “headed back” other branches that vied for dominance and redirected this energy to the chosen leader.

Next, we looked for any branches that were dying, broken, rubbing or diseased and removed them. Sometimes, removal of these bad branches can result in a poor visual balance of the tree, and it may take a few pruning cycles to even out the appearance. However, if left unattended, these bad branches could be detrimental to the health of the tree. 

Lastly, we pruned for lateral growth and removed the imbalance of the tree to the far left, as well as several branches hanging over the driveway. We also pruned the co-dominant stems competing for the same space on the trunk, and several crossing branches. To preserve the health of the tree, we limited the canopy pruning to 30% and did some detail work to balance out the tree as much as possible. This tree needed a few more cycles of pruning to truly balance out the visual appearance. 

A-Form Dogwood tree after pruning. Note: Limit pruning to 30% of canopy
The result was a Dogwood Tree well on its way to better health and beauty.

Contact us to find out more about our Technical Pruning services. We specialize in plant sizes ranging from 3-ft shrubs to 20-ft trees. We follow the procedures of “The ABCs Field Guide to Young and Small Tree Pruning” by Andrew Pleninger and Chris Luley, Ph.D., and we adhere to the guidelines established by Plant Amnesty

Take care of your Ornamental Trees and Shrubs:

  • Professionally Prune every year until the proper balance is reached. Then prune every other year. Well-pruned trees can go 3 years between pruning while shrubs may need a yearly clean-up.
  • Provide Proper Nutrition through our ongoing organic fertilizer and probiotic tea, FertileTea. Sick or unhealthy trees and shrubs can benefit from our Deep Root Feeding service.
  • Infuse Probiotics To Boost Soil Health which adds to your lawn and plants’ immune systems making for happy plants.
We Build Community Around Organics

Request a Pruning Quote!

We service the South King, Pierce and Thurston Counties.

(253) 927-2523 | [email protected]