Category Archives: Landscaping

Don’t Forget to Cut Back Your Perennials Now

In gardening terms, “cutting back” refers to reducing the size of a plant. Some perennials fare better through the winter when they are trimmed back prior to the colder months. Others rely on their foliage for protection, so they should be trimmed only in spring. Below, you can learn more about which perennials should be cut back in the springtime to ensure their health and create a beautiful home garden.

What Does “Cutting Back” Really Mean?

Cutting back is the act of reducing the size of a plant for various reasons, including to help promote better branching, to control the plant’s size, or even to help a plant rejuvenate and become healthier. When it comes to perennials, the act of “topping” – removing material down to two inches above ground level – is ideal, but only for some plants. Though some perennials fare better when topped in the winter, there are some – including asters, black-eyed Susan, campanula, foxglove, hostas, and more – that should be left alone in winter and trimmed back in spring. 

Which Perennials Should Be Cut Back?

The list of perennials that should be left to go dormant in the winter and trimmed back in the spring is exhaustive, but some of the most common include:

  • Asters – Asters require a bit of work during the blooming season. They must be pinched and forced in order to get the gorgeous blooms seen on television and on magazines, so by the time winter rolls around, they’re best just left alone to rejuvenate. Come spring, they can be trimmed back to your liking.
  • Black-Eyed Susan – These are incredibly resilient flowers. While you absolutely can cut them back in the winter, many hobbyists choose to leave them alone because the seeds found on their heads are fantastic for feeding non-migrating bird species. If you leave the heads on during the winter, be sure to cut them back in the fall.
  • Campanula – Campanula is fairly fast-growing. Many gardeners find themselves tending to the foliage in the summertime to remove any dead or damaged leaves and encourage more blooming. But because campanula continue to grow through fall, it is best left alone in late fall and winter, and only trimming back in the spring.
  • Hosta – Hosta foliage is quite delicate. Leaving it alone through the winter for frost protection is ideal. In the spring, trim it into the desired shape. Remove any dead or damaged leaves.
  • Mums – Leave the foliage alone through the winter; it will do an excellent job of protecting the crown.
  • Valerian – Valerian is a beautiful addition to any garden. If you’re going to cut it back, it’s best done in late summer months. Then, leave it be through winter. Valerian struggles in colder zones, but if you can avoid cutting it back once fall rolls around, it’s much more likely to survive.

Understanding which perennials to cut back in spring is sure to help you enjoy your garden all throughout the year. Of course, you may also prefer to leave your grasses, foliage, and blooms to expert professionals who can provide all the services you need to keep your garden looking fresh throughout the year!

Ornamental Grasses that Grow Great in Winter

Did you know? The Chicagoland area falls within the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone 5, which is one of the cooler parts of the United States. Though some plants certainly struggle to thrive outdoors, particularly in the late fall, winter, and early spring, others will thrive year-round – including ornamental grasses. Below, you can find some of the best and most beautiful wintertime ornamental grasses for your landscape.

Preparing for Ornamental Grasses in Your Landscape

Before you plant ornamental grass in hopes it will thrive in Chicago’s cold winters, it’s important to understand these plants’ typical requirements. 1. They prefer to be rooted in soil that drains very well and is low in nutrients. 2. You’ll want to look for cool weather grasses that can withstand subfreezing temperatures, layers of ice and snow. (If you need some help choosing a grass to start with, you can always find native options in your local nurseries and home stores.)

Non-Native Ornamental Grasses that will Thrive in Zone 5

If you don’t like the look of native species, or are ready for the “next adventure” in ornamental grasses, there are plenty of non-native ornamental grasses that will absolutely thrive in Zone 5. These include:

  • Japanese Silver Grass – This is an Asian transplant that offers gorgeous, clumping, silver plumes. You can find several varieties, including some that have pink and/or reddish flowers in the warmer parts of the year.
  • Purple Fountain Grass – Fountain grasses form beautiful “balls” or “mounds” when trimmed appropriately, which makes them truly unique, ornamental pieces for your landscape. Purple fountain grass shows reddish hues in its leaves and flowers, and grows to about four feet tall.
  • Ravenna Grass – Though most of the Pampas grasses won’t survive long in the harsh Chicago winters, Ravenna grass is an unusual variant. This grass can survive (and even thrive) all the way up to Zone 4. This is a huge grass; in its foliage phase, it can reach five feet. And when the flower stalks start to grow, it can grow as high as 12 feet. This is phenomenal for corners, as it fills in the space, and can be used to provide privacy.
  • Miscanthus Maiden Grass – Finally, there are several miscanthus varieties. These are well-suited for year-round beauty in the Chicagoland area. They range in color, from bronze to deep burgundy, and can grow as large as 10 feet tall by six feet wide. This is an excellent choice for containers, or hard clay soils, where other grasses may not grow well.

As you can see, despite Chicago’s freezing temperatures during winter months, there are several beautiful ornamental grasses that will thrive in winter’s frost. Japanese silver, purple fountain, Ravenna, and miscanthus maiden grasses are all phenomenal choices. For assistance with planting these beautiful grasses, guidance in landscape design, or even year-round care and maintenance, contact a landscaping professional.

Winter Landscaping Tips to Get Your Property Ready

Spring is just around the corner; that means your foliage will soon start coming back to life, and early bloomers will show their colors for the world to see! Maximize the beauty of your landscape by following these simple winter landscaping tips below.

Clean Up

One of the best things you can do to keep your property looking beautiful into the spring months involves keeping it clean. Use a bag to pick up any twigs and debris that may have accumulated around your lawn during the winter. Rake dead leaves and, either compost them, turn them into mulch, or throw them out. If you have an air blower, first move the leaves into a manageable pile. It’s always a good idea to clean up, to eliminate rot, and so that fertilizers and nutrients you may apply will penetrate the ground more readily.

Apply Your Lawn Treatments

Late winter and early spring are great times to apply fertilizers, pre-emergent (if necessary or desired), and herbicides (for weed prevention). Some weeds, such as crabgrass, are easier to prevent than they are to kill. You may often find these products in combinations, designed to make them easier to apply. Always feel free to call a professional, who will apply it for you in just the right amounts.

Choose a Mulch

After you’ve treated your lawn (and mowed, if appropriate), now is a great time to focus on your flower beds, dead shrub branches, and mulch. You’ll want to spruce up your edging, and then carefully trim back any dead or out-of-place branches on shrubs and bushes. Choose a nice, heavy mulch, made of hardwood if possible. Though it will cost more, it will also last far longer, and provide a much better aesthetic look.

Get Your Trees Trimmed

In late winter, it’s often difficult for you to really determine which branches are dead and which are dormant, so this is a job that is almost always best left to the professionals. It’s also one of the most important tasks on this list, since dead branches can pose a safety hazard to residents and passersby. Most professionals recommend pruning for safety once every couple of years. These experts tend to agree it’s best to conduct these pruning sessions before the leaves sprout, since it’s easier to find branches that have broken away from the tree.

Don’t Seed Yet

It’s very, very tempting to get out into the lawn with a bag of grass seed to cover up any bare or brown patches. But seeding your lawn is a fruitless endeavor if you’re applying lawn treatments. They simply won’t allow the new seed to germinate properly. Focus on fertilizing for now. There’s a good chance that, over time, the brown or bare spots will fill themselves in. Or, rather than seeding, consider sod for the especially bare or brown areas.

Preparing your landscape in winter will ensure your property looks beautiful and fresh for spring. Though property owners and their maintenance crews typically can handle some of these tasks on their own, it is best to leave some – such as the application of lawn treatments – to the experts for safety. Happy landscaping!

A 3-Month Landscaping Plan to Get Ready for the Spring

Preparing for the spring thaw (and subsequent bloom) requires a bit of a plan. It’s important to keep up with your landscaping during the winter months – or hire a landscaper to do it for you – in order to really reap the benefits. Here’s what you should do in December, January, and February to ensure that your landscape is beautiful and bountiful this spring.

December

December often marks the first major snow for most people in the local area, so it’s important that the following tasks are completed beforehand:

  • Mulching beds and tree roots – This will ensure that frost cannot penetrate the stems of small plants or into tree roots, causing serious issues when springtime returns.
  • Moving plants indoors – If you haven’t already, this is the perfect time to bring plants that are hardy but cannot tolerate long periods of cold indoors.
  • Pruning – Trim your trees and shrubs of old-growth or dead limbs so that you can make way for beautiful new growth come springtime.
  • Mow the lawn – December is also the perfect time to ensure that you’ve mowed your lawn to a length of 1” to 2” (or even 3” for some less tolerant species). This will keep the grass healthy, but it also prevents pests from calling your lawn their home.

January

January is all about keeping up with anything you did during December and the previous fall, but it also adds in a few tasks that help to ensure a better spring. They include:

  • Checking mulch depth – Every month or so, be sure that you check the depth of the mulch in your beds and around your trees. It should be at least 3” in the wintertime to provide ample insulation from the cold.
  • Watering at above 40 degrees – If it hasn’t been snowing or raining much, wait until the temperatures are above 40 degrees for a time and water your grass, trees, and plants Even though it’s cold, they still get thirsty.
  • Give your mower a tune-up – Finally, if you mow your own lawn during the warmer months, there’s no time like January to give your mower a tune-up. You can do it yourself relatively easily, but if you rely on a pro, they won’t be very busy in January – and you may even get a discount because of it.

February

February is often the coldest month, but it’s also the last full month of winter and the time when you want to make sure everything is ready for the big March bloom. You should:

  • Clean your tools – If you do your own landscaping (or even a part of it), then you likely have a collection of tools that you use for this very purpose. February is the perfect time to scrub and oil them (if necessary).
  • Plan your spring layout – The big thaw is coming, and that means it’s almost time to get your bulbs back in the ground. Take some time to look around your yard and figure out where you want various plants to go.

December, January and February aren’t quite as busy in terms of landscaping tasks, but there are still a few things that must be done. Use this handy list to keep up with them, or feel free to call a professional who will take care of it for you. In the end, a beautiful spring lawn with no dead grass and plenty of color is yours for the taking, but only if your winter maintenance is spot on.

Plants for Chicago Winter

How to Keep Your Landscaping Looking Nice Even During the Winter Months

During the spring and summer, landscaping is a big focus for many home and business owners. However, once winter sets in, this seems to change. You might think that making your landscaping look nice during the winter is impossible, but the tips below can do just that.

Don’t Stop Raking

If you stop raking for the season after the first snowfall, you certainly aren’t alone. However, even though there aren’t quite as many leaves on the ground during the cold of winter, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist at all. When snow piles on top of those leaves and dead plant matter, the resulting environment can breed mold and fungus. Fortunately, it’s easy enough to rake your lawn now and then – especially where you can readily see the buildup.

Wrap Trees with Thin Bark

Trees with especially thin bark are susceptible to damage in the winter. This applies not only to certain species of trees but also to saplings and very young trees. A phenomenon is known as “sunscald” is a very real thing, and it occurs when there are large temperature fluctuations during the late fall and early spring. Use a light-colored wrap – even burlap – to prevent it.

Cover Shrubs to Protect from Salt

If your home or business is close to the road, and if any of your shrubs or plants are in what is known as “high-traffic” areas, it is worth your while to cover them with a tarp or sheet to protect them from road salt. In fact, if you are going to apply salt to a sidewalk or walkway near your plants, be sure to use it sparingly, and avoid using it near tree roots unless there’s no other choice for safety reasons.

Mulch Your Beds (And Check Them Often)

Mulch is much more than just a means to make your flower and plant beds look pretty. In fact, it can go a long way toward preventing frost from reaching plants’ roots. You can choose mulch in any color you prefer, or, if possible, you can even use the leaves you collected during the fall as mulch. Make sure your mulch is at least three inches deep to really protect the plants.

Keep Your Grass Cut Short

If you haven’t already mowed your lawn for the last time this season, now is the perfect time to do it. Just be sure that you lower the blade on your mower so that grass is no more than 2” tall – and ideally 1”. Grass can get frostbite just like your fingers and toes, and this results in dead patches or brown grass in the spring. What’s more, keeping your grass short through winter can also prevent pests like field mice from calling your yard home.

As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure your landscaping looks nice all winter long. Though many of these tips aren’t directly aesthetic, they will protect your trees, shrubs, plants, and flowering plants so that when spring rolls around, everything blooms as it should and nothing appears brown or dead.

Winter Curb Appeal

Landscaping Mistakes Homeowners Make During the Winter Months

Homeowners have the best intentions when it comes to winter landscaping. In some cases, they just don’t want their lawns to look desolate and bare, but in others, they’re willing to accept a less-than-attractive winter lawn in exchange for bright green and beautiful blooms this spring. Below are five landscaping mistakes that many homeowners make during the winter months and some tips for doing the right thing instead.

Failing to Water the Lawn and Plants

Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean your plants won’t dehydrate. While they don’t need as much water through the winter months, they do still need at least some. Whenever your area isn’t getting rain or snow, and whenever the temperature is above 40 degrees, make sure that you are giving your lawn and your plants a good soaking water. They will thank you for it come springtime.

Skipping out on Raking

Homeowners think that once all the colors of fall have disappeared, they no longer need to rake. This is simply not the case. Though it may be tedious, and while it may not be your favorite job, it must be done. Mold and fungus can grow rather easily under leftover leaves and other debris, so be sure that you’re raking them up whenever you have the opportunity. Better yet, save them, and you can use them as free mulch! If you don’t feel like raking, you can always hire a professional to do it for you.

Not Checking Mulch Depth

Many plants struggle to tolerate subfreezing temperatures, and once frost hits the base of the stem or the roots, they may never recover. Building up mulch around these plants to a depth of about 3” is ideal. Though, between winter storms and wind, and thanks to your neighbors’ pets, you need to check your mulch throughout the winter, to make certain the depth is still correct. If it isn’t, just add more – or use some of the leaves you raked up! If you have a professional landscaper, this is something he or she should check for you regularly, too.

Forgetting About Pests

Homeowners mistakenly believe that when the cold air sets in, pests are a thing of the past. This isn’t the case, especially for rodents like mice, who rely on your lawn and, ultimately, your home to stay alive when it’s freezing outside. Keeping your grass cut short (1” to 2” – or a maximum of 3” for certain varieties) can prevent mice from nesting in your lawn. It will also keep them off your property altogether, so they are less likely to make their way inside.

In short, failing to water your lawn, skipping out on the raking, skimping on your mulch, or forgetting all about the existence of pests like mice can really wreak havoc on your landscaping. The best way to avoid these issues is to call a professional landscaping service who can handle these tedious tasks on your behalf and provide you with the peace of mind you need and deserve.

mulching trees fall autumn frost

Why You Need to Mulch the Base of Your Trees in Early Fall

Mulch is a staple in many Chicagoland gardens and landscapes, but the real purpose of mulch is often incredibly misunderstood. If you think mulch is utilized as weed control, or perhaps as a way to make landscaping look more appealing and refined, you will be surprised to learn these facts. The real uses and importance of mulch are much different than these. Below, you can learn more about mulch and why you should apply it to the base of your trees in early fall.

What Mulch Is Not

Despite the common belief that mulch is used to prevent weed growth, this is not the case at all. There’s a very good chance that you (or your landscaping company) spend some time fighting weeds that grow between gaps in your driveway or sidewalk. If weeds can grow in those locations, they can surely grow through soft organic matter, like mulch.

It would be incorrect to say that mulch is not a decoration, because it very much is. Numerous colors can be found at your favorite home stores; including red, brown, green, black, blue, and various other hues. This can create focal points in your yard, separate individual flowerbeds, and much more. With that said, mulch is not designed to prevent weed growth, but it can improve aesthetic appeal a great deal. This is not mulch’s primary use, however.

What Mulch Is Meant to Do

Three outstanding benefits of mulch for trees and shrubs include:

  • Providing Protection to Roots: When gazing upon a tree, you can tell what’s happening above-ground. You can observe the tree through its many stages, watching it grow from a sapling to a towering giant. What you cannot see is the root system. Now, imagine years of soil compaction around the tree’s roots, and you can easily see how a tree may not get the nutrients it needs. By removing the soil above the roots and laying down loose mulch instead, the entire root system – and therefore the tree – is protected.
  • Providing Protection to Tree Trunks, Bark, and Stems: Mulch can damage tree bark over time. Be careful not to make a huge pile around the base of a small tree. Tree mulch retains moisture, and it will ultimately cause the bark, stems, and trunk to rot. Piling mulch on top of a tree’s root system is no different than planting the tree far too deeply in the ground.
  • Defining the Edges of Beds: Finally, mulch is important for defining the edges of planting beds, as it allows excellent definition without incredibly deep cuts and edging that can cause lawn “scalping” during mowing season.

The Most Important Reason for You to Mulch Trees in Fall

According to the Arbor Day Foundation, a revered expert in tree care, proper mulching offers five very important benefits. First, it insulates the soil around the tree, which protects the roots from the cold of winter. Second, mulch retains rainfall and any moisture that may fall during autumn. This will supply a tree’s roots with moisture, even during the arid winter. Third, mulch slows the growth of weeds (to a degree), which reduces competition for nutrients and moisture. Finally, mulching your tree or garden will prevent the soil from being compacted and choking out the roots. It can even help you avoid damage to your (or you landscaper’s) lawnmower. (We appreciate it!)

As you can see, mulch is a highly misunderstood landscaping tool that is crucial to the health and longevity of trees in more ways than one. Mulching your trees in early fall will provide all of these benefits, and provide some aesthetic appeal on the ground – at least until the snow begins to fall.

Garden Tips

Expert Tips on Growing a Home Garden

If you’re interested in growing a garden at home, there are several interesting directions you could take. Fruits, vegetables, and flowers are excellent choices, but only if you know what to plant, when to plant them, and how to care for them. Below are some expert tips on growing a home garden that you can use, regardless of what sort of garden you prefer.

Start Composting

If there’s one piece of advice you should follow, it’s this: start composting. Compost is one of the best all-natural food sources for fruits, vegetables, and flowers; and, it’s easy enough to get started at home. Start a compost pile in the backyard with a tarp over the top, or buy an indoor compost bin from any number of retailers, that will keep odor under control, and make composting much more convenient.

Learn Which Plants Work Best Together

Think about the sorts of plants you would like to have in your garden. Then, do some research so you can figure out which plants work best with one another. A few examples include:

  • Tomatoes and basil: Tomato and basil go together in sauce like peanut butter and jelly, but the truth is that basil and tomatoes are essential garden partners. The basil repels flies and other bugs that can have a significant impact on your yield.
  • Lettuce and mint: If you plan to grow any sort of lettuce, be sure that you plant some mint alongside it. The mint repels slugs and other common critters that might make a meal out of your crop.
  • Corn and green beans: This veggie-duo works for a number of reasons. The beans can grow alongside the cornstalks and use them for support. And since beans help maintain nitrogen levels in your soil, the corn, which is nitrogen-dependent, will flourish.

 

Don’t Be Afraid to Hire a Pro

If you’re afraid to hire a professional to help you with your home garden, here’s something to consider: if you start everything off right, it will be that much easier for you to maintain it as it grows. This is true whether you plant an entire field of strawberries, or just a few cucumber and melon plants. Professionals can do the work, and give you some valuable advice for helping fruits, vegetables and flowers thrive throughout the season.

Don’t Allow Fruits and Veggies to Over-ripen on the Plant

Last, but most certainly not least, one of the most common mistakes made by garden beginners is letting fruits and vegetables get too ripe while they are still on the plant. Though any food can attract insects and other pests, overripe fruits and vegetables are practically magnets. In prime harvest season, you should be checking your plants daily and removing anything that is ripe. Some foods, like tomatoes, can be plucked while they are still slightly under-ripe, since they will continue to ripen at room temperature.

Growing a home garden is incredibly rewarding, no matter what you choose to grow. If you can’t decide what to grow, consider mixing things up. Just remember that hiring a professional to help you get started is always a great idea; a good, early start on some compost will help with your yields; and, regularly plucking ripe foods from plants will keep pests at bay.

gardener-shaping-plants

Tools You’ll Need to Get Ready for Fall Landscaping

Fall landscaping can be incredibly rewarding, particularly when the fruits of your labor become apparent in the early spring months. If you want to prep your lawn for the next growing season, though, you’ll need some specific tools to get the job done. Here’s what you’ll need to carry you through autumn’s landscaping.

An Aerator

An aerator isn’t always necessary, but if you happen to see pools of water on your lawn after a decent rainfall, then it’s probably a great idea. As the ground becomes more and more compressed with time, the rainwater has difficulty penetrating the soil, and that’s what leads to the pooling. While a mechanical aerator is best for larger lawns, you can use a simple garden fork for smaller areas.

Lawn Fertilizer

Grass falls dormant through the winter, but the roots keep growing as long as the ground hasn’t reached the 40-degree mark. Even if your lawn spends much of the winter under a blanket of snow, applying a high-phosphorus fertilizer now is the best way to make sure your lawn comes up lush, and a beautiful, bright green, much earlier in the spring. Ideally, you want a 12-25-12 mix, and to apply the last fertilizer of the year before the first snowfall of the season.

A Lawnmower

Many homeowners make the mistake of failing to mow their lawn one last time before it falls dormant, and while it won’t necessarily cause long-lasting issues, it can make your lawn unsightly. Think of it like this: the shorter the grass in your yard, the less falling leaves have to latch onto. What’s more, shorter grass is far more resistant to any diseases such as fungi that tend to crop up in the fall months. The best length for your final mow is anywhere from 1 to 1¼ inches.

Mulch

If you made any new beds this year, be sure to provide them with a solid layer of mulch. You can use straw, wood chips, or even chopped leaves. You will want to do this after the first light frost of the year, and ideally before the ground freezes hard. If you already have preexisting mulch in your older beds, till it down into the ground and then apply fresh mulch on top.

An Air Compressor

Finally, if you water your lawn and/or garden using a drip irrigation system throughout your yard, be sure to clean out all of the tubing. If water is left inside them, it could freeze and expand, which can crack the tubing. To prevent unnecessary replacements, grab an air compressor, switch it to the low pressure setting, and connect the part of the tubing that normally attaches to the system tap to an air hose. This could save you hours (if not days) worth of work in the spring.

Fall landscaping is all about making your lawn look as nice as possible during the fall and winter months while preparing grass and other plants for a strong, early, and colorful reemergence in the spring. Whether you choose to hire a professional landscaping company, or do much of the work on your own, these tools will go a long way toward making your job simpler.

Pruning Trees

When Is the Right Time to Prune Bushes, Plants, and Trees?

Many homeowners in the Chicago area go out to prune their bushes, plants, and trees once or twice each year – all at the same time – in order to save themselves time and keep growth under control. However, not all plants should be pruned and trimmed at the same time. Below, you can learn more about the best possible schedule for pruning based on the season. 

Why Are You Pruning?

The first step in choosing the right time to prune involves asking yourself why you are pruning in the first place. If you are pruning just to remove any dead wood or light pruning to help a shrub maintain its shape, you can do this any time of the year. Otherwise, the best time to prune depends almost entirely on the season, and this means you may find yourself doing your major pruning and trimming four times each year depending on the plants, bushes, and trees in your yard. 

Pruning in the Summer

If there are branches on a tree that you do not want, or if you want to help slow the growth of a particular branch, the goal should be to prune as soon as the seasonal growth is over. This means that if you are attempting to direct the growth of a tree, shrub, or other plant, you will want to do all of this in the summer. It’s also helpful to prune for corrective purposes during this season since problematic limbs are easier to spot. 

Pruning in the Winter

Almost all trees and shrubs are most likely to thrive when you opt to prune during the winter months. This is because the plant is dormant during winter. By taking the time to prune back your trees and shrubs while they are dormant, you will be able to achieve a huge growth spurt come spring. If this is what you’re after, then be sure to prune in the winter months. Experts agree that winter pruning sessions are best carried out once the coldest part of the season has passed – typically starting in March in the Chicagoland area. 

Enhancing Flowering Trees and Shrubs

Sometimes, homeowners prune their trees and shrubs in order to help enhance the color and number of flowers. If this is the case for you, be sure that you wait until the flowers have faded for the season. For example, if your plant flowers in mid or late summer, it would be ideal to wait until winter or even early spring to do your pruning. This way, you can be sure the last of the flowers have faded and the plant is in its dormant stage. 

When Not to Prune

Though it may be tempting to prune your trees, shrubs, and plants in the fall when the temperatures start to drop and the leaves begin to change, this is the one time of year during which you should avoid pruning at all costs. There are numerous fungi in and around the Chicago area that can cause decay, and their spores are everywhere during the fall months. When you prune, you essentially “wound” the plant, and this can open the door for infection. Wait until the cold has killed off the fungus to start pruning. 

Pruning can achieve numerous results, whether you want to enhance the rate of flowering, remove unwanted branches, or control the growth of a shrub, tree, or plant. Your pruning schedule can be quite complicated, but following the tips above is sure to help. You might also consider contacting a professional to handle all your pruning, trimming, and lawn-care needs.