Pruning Your Early-Spring Bloomers – Recommendations from Your Denver Tree Specialists
americanarbor June 29, 2016

While Colorado weather tends to make its own rules in the summer, there are some key rules to follow if you want to keep your yard looking beautiful all season long. The Denver tree specialists at American Arbor Care have some recommendations on what to do, including details on pruning your early spring blooming shrubs.

What is pruning?

There are several different methods of pruning you might consider. Fine pruning removes smaller limbs simply for aesthetic purposes. Standard pruning takes care of the tree’s branch structure in general, improving the appearance as well as the structural integrity of the branches. Hazard pruning removes branches and limbs for safety purposes — such as heavy limbs dangling over your roof, or into the street. Crown reduction pruning is used primarily after storm damage.

Denver tree specialists give some major reasons for pruning your trees. General trimming is like giving a tree a haircut–it improves the appearance, as well as the health of the tree by removing dying or dead branches. When you do this, you also open up space for more sunlight to peek through, bringing benefit to your landscaping and even allowing more sun to filter inside your home at times.

What Needs to Get Pruned?

In late spring to early summer, it’s time to prune your early spring bloomers. Some examples of these plants, specifically ones found in Denver, are lilacs, forsythia, and magnolia trees. If you wait too long to prune, you run the risk of having fewer flowers in the following year.


The key to pruning lilacs, the iconic shrub with the purple flowers and a distinct smell, is to wait until after they’ve flowered. Your tree specialist will take a look at the plant and figure out what needs to be cut — but generally, they first remove any diseased parts, scaly growth, suckers, and flower heads.


Many people use the wrong technique when it comes to pruning their forsythia shrubs. Typically planted in an overcrowded space, it’s unwise to shear them back to reduce the size. Instead, prune the tallest, oldest canes which sit more closely to the ground. This will help avoid cutting off the newest growth, including the flowers waiting to bloom next year. Pruning too much from the top of these shrubs will result in spotty growth that may never fully  return.


Magnolia trees are another example of what should be pruned after the tree has finished blooming. In Colorado, these broad-leafed evergreen trees finish in late spring. Because of their height, for these trees it’s important to first prune any dead or dying limbs. However, use caution when pruning an older magnolia tree. Because older trees heal more slowly than younger ones, the potential for diseases grows when they’re pruned.

Instead of gambling with the right times and ways to prune your early spring blooming shrubs, call the best tree trimmers in Denver. At American Arbor Care, not only do we have experts on staff who can help you figure out the best schedule for pruning your trees and shrubs, but we will also be able to suggest different methods for taking care of the rest of your lawn as well. Call us today at (303) 639-8584 to schedule a consultation.

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