Shrub Pruning

Shrub Pruning and Removal Services

Too often shrub pruning is a job relegated to the landscaper, who is as scared of the bush as it is of him (or her). I think the poor shrubs must shake in their roots at the prospect of getting a haircut with some big engine-powered shears. You’ve seen how that turns out:

A close shave for this juniper

See all that brown? Those are bare twigs that were exposed from being trimmed too aggressively. Unfortunately that part will never be green again. Junipers grow from the green parts out, and don’t have what are called “dormant buds” that allow it to sprout new shoots from bare wood.

Shrubs pruned with those big shears also tend to have their tips die back. That’s because plants don’t really like to be pruned right in the middle of a stem, they need to be pruned back to a bud. That’s why a pro will usually opt for a hand pruner.

Pruning by hand does take a little longer, but it’s the only way to do the job. I use three tools for pruning shrubs and bushes: a hand pruner, a lopper and a small hand saw. Keeping the tools sharp and clean helps the plants heal faster and reduces infection from diseases. Sometimes with hedges and shrubs with long, fine hair-like branches it’s appropriate to use pruning shears, but they should not be the go-to tool.

Shrubs are some of the more difficult plants to prune; it definitely requires experience. They’re like a cross between a tree and a flower, and having knowledge of both is really helpful in doing a good job when pruning. Trees and woody shrubs compartmentalize wood. This means they heal around wounds, including pruning wounds, with callous tissue in a specific way (referred to as CODIT). So to help the shrub heal from pruning faster, the pruner should have a good understanding of how that works. Shrubs often flower as well, and that’s another consideration to account for. Pruning at the wrong time of year for example can mean that shrub won’t flower for quite a long time, up to two more years!

The point I’m trying to make is, if you’re going to have someone prune your bushes and shrubs, be sure to find someone with some knowledge and experience. If you’d like a free quote from me, I’m only a phone call away. Only I do the actual pruning, not a “tech” or intern, so you can be sure your shrubs are in good hands.
P.S. I’m also pretty handy pruning trees.

Call today for a free shrub pruning estimate!

Shrub pruning services I specialize in:


  • Rejuvenation pruning of privet, lilac, dogwood, roses and more. Rejuvenation can bring old, overgrown plants back to life.
  • Cutting back junipers and arborvitae, without leaving bare branches.
  • Training and shaping hedges.
  • Shrub removal and stump grinding. Removing junipers.
  • Hand pruning for a more neat and professional look.


Give me a call for a free appraisal and shrub pruning estimate: 970-690-0769
Or use this form to request an estimate:



This New Mexico Olive was out if control.

Pruning it back hard was the first step to rejuvenating this shrub. Follow-up pruning will keep it in good shape in the future.


Junipers can quickly out-grow their space if left unchecked.

The trick to pruning back junipers is to be careful not to leave bare branches; they’ll never produce new shoots again.