Ecology + Design

When is the Best Time to Prune Your Overgrown Flowering Tree?

We make it a practice to evaluate every feature of the landscape during the initial consultation. We look at the property as if our family owned it and lived there! We are interested in evaluating and analyzing every view, every tree and plant, drainage and flow paths; what we can see and even what we can’t.

In this case, our primary mission was to develop an ecological landscape design for the entire property in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, to be implemented in phases.  Once the design was presented and accepted with estimates and budgets for each part, we started with the demolition of a large part of the backyard. This work included carting and dumping of many tons of concrete from existing patios and walks, as well as old wooden sheds, removing electric and plumbing, base for an above ground pool, etc..

Below: Before photo. 

We were able to repurpose and recycle part of the demo material on site and the remainder off site (see SSI Resource conservation, including financial resources, is part of our contracted responsibility to the client.

Although summer was a good time for demo, masonry construction (including a patio and fire pit) and lawn installation (in this case, an eco-friendly tall fescue lawn), it was not ideal for pruning the mature, overgrown Kousa dogwood in the front yard ( see ANSI A300 pruning standards).

Winter is the ideal time for this kind of crown reduction, radical pruning and shaping.
While the tree probably will not flower as beautifully and fully as it did the year before, it was necessary to bring it back into an acceptable scale, if the tree was going to be saved as a component and feature of the new design.

Jay Archer

President, Landscape Ecologist


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