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Ornamental trees or shrubs are very simply, plants that are grown for a decorative purpose.  Each ornamental at some point was hand selected and planted for a reason.  Maybe it provides shade in a much needed spot, perhaps it adds texture to an area that felt blah, defines a space as is the case with hedges,  introduces height to an otherwise low growth area, or in general, just adds aesthetic interest to your landscape.  The first step to ensuring the success of ornamental trees and shrubs is selecting and planting them in an area where they will thrive.  At Emerald Tree and Shrub Care we always recommend consulting with an Arborist before investing in and installing new plantings.  While you may think that Japanese Maple will look lovely in the back corner of your garden, sunlight patterns and soil tests may prove you wrong.  The second, and most important measure to keeping your ornamentals beautiful and thriving is, Developmental Pruning.

An ornamental tree or shrub can easily go from being a beautiful asset to a terrible eye sore if ignored and allowed to become overgrown.  We've all seen hedges that have gone wild and completely impede on a sidewalk or front walkway.  Not only do these look bad, but severe overgrowth is a hard problem to fix, and unfortunately sometimes results in removal which can be expensive and disappointing.

Avoiding overgrowth is an important reason for developmental pruning, but certainly not the only.  There are lots of benefits to routinely pruning your ornamentals, including:

  • Removing dead, damaged or diseased growth.  Just like any plant or tree, as soon as dead branches are discovered they should be removed to allow the healthier, thriving branches to get the full amount of nutrients they need.  Plants actually waste quite a bit of energy trying to nurse dead branches back to health, so removing them with proper pruning, gives the tree more strength and energy to nourish existing branches and support new growth.
  • Supporting advanticious growth. Selectively removing certain growth allows sunlight to reach the interior of the plant and lets the air better circulate throughout, both of which help produce new buds.
  • Maintaining it's original shape.  Keeping a tree or shrub's shape and size to a scale that make sense to the landscape is a benefit to the overall appearance as well as the health and growth of other plants.  Our trained arborists can walk through a landscape and immediately identify pruning opportunities that will promote the health of the entire assortment of plantings.

At Emerald Tree & Shrub Care we pride ourselves on never defaulting to gas or electric trimmers, but rather performing all pruning by hand.  This is the only way to be truly selective with which branches you want to trim and also prevents damage on the branches you want to keep.  Whether you are looking for a natural aesthetic that fits within a wooded area, or a very pristine crisp edge on your boxwood hedges, please let us be the ones to help.  Our goal is to achieve your desired look while performing the developmental pruning that is most beneficial for your ornamentals.

For more information about our pruning service view a demonstration by our Board Certified Master Arborist, Kevin Wyatt here.

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Steve Farrelly

As a lifelong Westchester resident, Steve Farrelly serves as the founder and President of Emerald Tree and Shrub Care Company. As an avid sportsman who enjoys fishing, swimming and more, he was inspired to start Emerald after witnessing various irresponsible acts taking place throughout the Long Island Sound.

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They hire skilled arborists and are trustworthy and reliable. They come several times a year to maintain our trees and shrubs and they always look fantastic. Moira P.
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With accreditations by ISA, the Tree Care Industry Association, and an impressive roster of master arborists and ISA-certified tree care professionals, Emerald is the most accredited company of its kind in New York and Connecticut.

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