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Pruning is actually many things, what with the different needs and requirements of the various plants we work with. But in general it is the removal of deadwood to allow in light, air, and new growth.
But pruning – and its near equivalent, hedge trimming – is also a kind of communication with the plants. Due to differing soil conditions, water, light, and topography, plants can grow awkwardly or haphazardly. Careful pruning and trimming can effectively tell a plant where it needs to focus its energies to achieve endurance and symmetry with a total landscape plan.
For example, this customer had some beautiful stately crape myrtles lining the driveway entrance. As you can see, our guys pruned them all back to about 8 feet, which will produce a uniform plant presentation when the growth hits.