plant care

Pruning Evergreens and Boxwoods


Pruning evergreens and Boxwoods

I hope you have enjoyed some of our other articles on pruning (click the title below to view the other articles!)

Today’s topic is all about pruning your evergreens (shrubs and trees) and your boxwoods.

Evergreen shrubs and Boxwoods

A few of the varieties of evergreen shrubs require little or no pruning.

Some of these include Hetz Midget and Danica Arborvitae, Blue Star Junipers, and Dwarf Japanese Garden Junipers.

Most other evergreen shrubs will benefit from trimming. These would include plants such as Boxwoods, Yews, Mint Julep Junipers, Mugo Pines, upright evergreens, and many others. 

Generally trim once or twice a year in early spring and/or in early fall. Trim just to shape the plant. Do not do extreme pruning.

If evergreen plants have become very overgrown, you may have to trim severely to get them back in to a good shape. However, they may not look good for a season or two. Avoid this problem by trimming once or twice a year.

Evergreen Trees

Young evergreen trees can be trimmed to help shape them. Trimming will also cause them to be more full and dense.

Check the leader (top branch ) of the tree. If there are 2 main leaders, trim out the weakest of the 2. This will allow 1 strong leader to take over.

Generally the best time to trim evergreen trees is just after the new growth, or the “candle” has emerged (usually early June). Trim off about ½ of each candle. You may also trim as needed to shape the tree.


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Lessons from the garden: Rest, Relax and Renew

written by Linda Hopper

Most of us live and work on the fast track. Between work, family, yard work, holidays, and other commitments our tanks are often running on empty.  We go-go-go.

But then - sometimes in the winter, when the garden is resting, we don’t know what to do with ourselves.  We are often stuck inside. Sometimes the winter blues set in.

We need to take a lesson from the garden – Rest, Relax and Renew!

Here are some ideas on how:

  • Take an extra nap

  • Read or meditate

  • Resume a hobby

  • If all else fails – find some garden books and look forward to spring!        

Spring will be here soon and we will be back on the fast track.

And then we will long for a day to relax…

Enjoy it now!




The beauty of fall colors touches the soul. Take time to pause and enjoy this special time of year.  The reds, yellows, and oranges of trees in the fall all add to the fall splendor.

Here are some Natural Plus favorites for adding fall colors to your yard/landscaping:

Ornamental/Smaller Trees with Fall Color (10-30’ size):

·      Amur Maple           Brilliant red fall color, clump or single stemmed

·      Serviceberry          Orange/reds , berries for birds, clumps or singles

·      Hot Wings               Reds/oranges with bright red seed pods


Larger Shade Trees with Good Fall Color (over 30’)

·      Aspen                                               Quaking golden yellow leaves

·      Birch                                                 Yellow, clump or single stemmed

·      Ginkgos                                            Golden yellow (slow growing)

·      Lindens                                            Yellow, heart shaped leaves

·      Locust                                               Yellow wispy leaves

·      Maples: Autumn Blaze               Brilliant Red, fast growing

·      Maples: Burgandy Belle                    Burgundy Red

·      Maples: Emerald Luster                    Golden Yellow, fast growing

·      Maples: Rubrum                           Bright Red

·      Maples: Sugar                                Multiple varieties – oranges, reds, yellows

·      Red Oaks                                         Red

·      Witch Hazel                                      Fragrant yellow blooms in fall



 Planting Perennials that Attract Butterflies

 Almost anything that blooms in the summer will attract butterflies.  The most difficult part of planting to attract butterflies is narrowing down the choices. 

To get started ask yourself these questions and choose the plants that best suit your area: 

·      How tall do you want the plant to get?

·      Does your area have sun, shade, or part sun, and what direction does it face?

·      Do you want an evergreen or leafy plant?

·      Do you have any special wishes for the plant – color, blooms, etc.

Choosing native plants is always a good option.  

Some common perennials that are butterfly favorites include

·      Butterfly weed (Asclepias) -  Bright orange blooms, grow app. 2’


·      Blazing star (Liatris)- Spikes of lavender blooms, grow app. 2’

·      Cone flowers (Echinacea) – Come in multiple colors and sizes

·      Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia) – Bright yellow with brown centers


·      Bee Balm (Monarda) – Come in multiple colors and sizes


·      Cardinal Flower (Lobelia) –Bright red blooms, grows 3’

·      False Sunflower(Heliopsis) – Bright yellow flowers, grows 3’


·      Hyssop (Agastache) – Blue violet spikes , grows 3’

·      Phlox – Come in multiple colors and sizes


·      Sedums – Come in multiple colors and sizes




Summer has finally arrived and the beautiful colors and blooms of summer are everywhere. A common question we get in the summer is

“Is it too late to plant?” 

The answer is no.

Container grown plants can be planted anytime from spring through fall. And a benefit of planting now is that you can see the foliage and blooms of the plants you are choosing.  So if you have procrastinated or simply ran out of time earlier to complete your gardening projects there is still time.

Four questions that you should consider when choosing any plant are:

·      How tall do you want the plant to get?

·      Does your area have sun, shade, or part sun, and what direction does it face?

·      Do you want an evergreen or leafy plant?

·      Do you have any special wishes for the plant – color, blooms, etc.

Once you have the answers to these questions, we can easily help you pick the plants for your areas.