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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
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    1

    Arrow How to prune/trim exisitng shrubs without damaging them - First Time Home Buyer

    Hi! My husband and I are in the processes of closing on a new house near Annapolis, MD and we're starting to plan the work we will be doing. I'd really like to spruce up the curb appeal.



    The house has been on the market for a while and the shrubs haven't been maintained.

    Although we like the existing shrubs and it will save us money to keep them, money we need to update the 1970's interior. However, we do not like that the tear dropped shaped ones block the windows and make the guest room and living room dark.

    Is it possible to lop off the tops, making them more of a rounded rectangular shape? I of course to not want to kill the shrubs or make it look awful. How long would the tops near to sprout more grow on top and not look naked? Do I need to wait for winter like some guides suggest, trimming them into uniform shapes for now and dealing with the loss of light. would I be better off tearing them out and getting lower growing shrubs?

    I'm very very new to lawn and shrub maintenance as this will be my first yard, we'll have possession of the house in early May.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    200

    Default Re: How to prune/trim exisitng shrubs without damaging them - First Time Home Buyer

    That's a nice looking house!

    I would consult the Yellow Pages under "Tree Service" and have one or 2 contractors come over to give an opinion & quote as to first the identity of the trees (Spruce? Fir?) & how much it would cost to trim them back & what time of year would be best to do this---you can then decide if you want to attempt it as a diy project, or hire the contractors---at least they look nice & green, which is a good sign & most of these evergreens can be cut back considerably without causing any problems.

    While the contractor is there also ask about what can be done for the lawn---brown lawns can be brought back with regular waterings and application of the plant foods sold at the home improvement stores.

    Is that a yellow forsythia in full bloom on the left??
    Last edited by Dobbs; 04-09-2014 at 11:54 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    6,699

    Default Re: How to prune/trim exisitng shrubs without damaging them - First Time Home Buyer

    These trees seem outgrown. It's a nice looking home, as Dobbs said, why hide it?

    I'd get these trees out of there and plant something smaller. Double benefits: the house will be more visible and you'll have more natural light inside.

    Also, do something about the country fence: wash the mold away or replace it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,673

    Default Re: How to prune/trim exisitng shrubs without damaging them - First Time Home Buyer

    The trees look like dwarf Alberta spruces. The are slow growing, but often outgrow the area planted. They can be trimmed some, but most of the growth in on the outside so cutting back more than a little will leave brown branches with no green. It will take years if ever for them to fill in.
    Time to remove them and start over.
    I have some similar trees next to my house like yours and have tried keeping them trimmed, but am in the process of removing them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    My own little planet - in NE
    Posts
    13

    Default Re: How to prune/trim exisitng shrubs without damaging them - First Time Home Buyer

    The shortest/brightest, if that's a yew or inkberry, you can trim it and it'll love you for it.
    If the 3 tall ones are yews, you can reshape them with hedge trimmers. If anything else, you probably want to take them out while you still can.

    Short evergreens under the windows: Tam Juniper, Thuja Mr. Bowling Ball, globe arborvitae.
    Taller vertical accents in front of brick wall: lattice with roses (New Dawn) and/or japanese sky pencil.
    Ground cover beneath: Kinnikinnick, common name, Bearberry - tough, no trouble. "Massachusetts" variety if you can find it. Small red berries in winter, small white flowers in spring.

    A beautious spring flowering crab apple would look great in the middle of your lawn, by the bird bath.

    Somebody stop me!

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