Hi. I freely admit I'm not a gardener, which is why I'm begging for help. There is a young man that has done some outdoor work for me in the past and he has come to my door asking if there's ANYTHING he can do, needing to earn money for Christmas. I do have some bushes that are growing too close to the house that I would like trimmed, but live in Ohio and I don't know if it's ok to trim bushes in the winter. Sorry if this is a dumb question, but I really don't know, and I would like to give him some work if possible.
Thank you in advance, and Merry Christmas!
Dec 18, 2012, 11:34 AM
It would no doubt be helpful to know what variety of bushes you have that require trimming. Some are more hardy than others, for off season trimming.
In my own experience, once a leafy bush has gone dormant (lost it's leaves), late winter is a safe time to trim back large areas, (or even cut to the ground in some cases). Might be pushing the time a bit now, but if you are trimming and cutting just the back sides, you may be ok, especially with winter weather soon to be on tap.
On varieties? I have cut yews back anytime of the year, and they survive and recover quite well.
Dec 18, 2012, 12:26 PM
There is an element of danger to some plants if you prune in the winter. Large cuts...such as to large bushes and trees, the wound made can be open to freezing temperatures--and by chance, if the plant bleeds, then it is threatened.
Plus there is, as in the case of a rosebush, when you cut back in winter, and freezes occur which causes canes to die-back, then you have that much less cane, to come back in spring. Much better to make the pruning in late winter so as to not have such prolong freezes.
It can depend on when and if the bush flowers. If it flowers early, then winter pruning will cut off buds that wont be there in spring. If it flowers later, then winter pruning wont disturb as much. Better to state what bushes you have that you wish to cut back.
Dec 18, 2012, 01:00 PM
Thank you. It's a row of evergreen bushes....I'm embarrassed that I don't even know what they are. I expect he will stop by sometime today (I'm not home right now). I really want to help him out. The first time he did some trimming for us I heard him on the phone, probably to his wife say "it'll be ok baby, I got a job." It just touched my heart.
Dec 18, 2012, 08:14 PM
Annon, since you are a novice gardener and you are acquainted with a young man who wishes to do garden and yard work to earn money, it would be wiser on your part to not let him go whole hog on pruning what sets off your property---the evergreens. Since the cutting back involves sharp tools, it is paramount he knows what and how to prune properly.
There is sufficient good knowledge about pruning evergreens in websites on the internet that you really should avail yourself before hiring the young man.
Generally, spring is the time to carry out pruning on evergreens--before the new growth begins. But evergreens can have their look spoiled by extensive pruning and can cause loss of budding if done at the wrong time.
For hands-on advice, visit a local full-service nursery in your locale; speak to somebody there who can give tips on how to do it. There might be such nursery still open at this time...often selling Christmas decorations. Go out and cut a small branch in an out-of-the-way place and take it to the nurseryman who can better advise what kind of evergreen it is and how to go about pruning.
Dec 18, 2012, 10:48 PM
I appreciate your good advice, and I do have a good nursery near me where I can go. They just planted a pine tree in my yard last week.
I'm really not ready to have yard work done right now, and I suspected it might be bad timing, I just didn't want to turn him away. I have two bushes one on each side of the front door that are overgrown. I could let him take them out.
Thank you for uour help.
Dec 21, 2012, 01:57 PM
Annon, you are really a very kind-hearted person! While you would like to offer this man an opportunity to earn extra money this time of year, you are under no obligation to do so if it isn't NEEDED. This is not the time to prune any shrubs or trees. (And if he isn't really a landscaper type of guy, I don't think I would let him touch my trees at all!) However, during every snowstorm, I always have a couple of guys ring my bell offering to "shovel snow" (cause it's after 12 noon, and we haven't shoveled it ourselves yet). Some young men have even come by bus to our neighborhood offering to shovel snow. They have offered to dig out cars buried in the snow too. A few of my neighbors have hired them. They were very efficient and quick and made a lot of fast money! (it IS a pain for the average woman to dig her car out of the snow for the next day's trip to work) I think your friend would have a much better chance earning extra money offering to shovel snow for people in his area. All he needs is a good sturdy shovel! In any event, pls. be careful and don't open doors to strangers you don't know, period!!! This message has been edited. Last edited by: Wavy,
SPRING HAS F I N A L L Y SPRUNG!!!!!
Dec 22, 2012, 12:14 AM
I know you're right, but I've been in a similar situation where you don't know how you'll make it to the end of the month. Now that I'm in a better position, I like to help those that are willing to work if I can. He's not a gardener, exactly, but he and two guys really did some hard work for us this past spring and summer. They cut down two trees, ground the stumps, hauled three truck loads of brush, spread a mountain of mulch, etc. So I did have him remove two bushes that had overgrown and were just ugly.
I wish we had enough snow to shovel! No one EVER asks to shovel our driveway, lol! and I don't blame them, it's way too long.
Have a merry Christmas!
I agree--you do have to be careful when opening your door these days. Thanks for your concern.
Dec 22, 2012, 07:38 AM
Whether any shrub (bush) should be trimmed when depends on the shrub. Evergreen shrubs that do not flower can be trimmed anytime. Any flowering shrub needs to be trimmed at the proper time since some set buds for next years flowers during the summer while others do only one new growth in the spring. Most all Rhododendrons, Forsythia, Lilacs etc. that set the flowering buds shortly after flowering should only be pruned between flowering and bud set, in the summer. There are some Hydrangeas that set flower buds on new growth and some that set flower buds during the summer so you need to know which Hydrangea you have to determine when to prune.
The sign of a good gardener is not a green thumb, it is brown knees.
Dec 22, 2012, 12:56 PM
The sap's out of them. Most can be trimmed. Fall/early winter are excellent wood cutting times because of the lack of sap. Can you clip a piece and go to the local nursery and ask? Ask the young man; then call the nursery while he waits for an answer.
Dec 24, 2012, 08:54 AM
Originally posted by Annon: I wish we had enough snow to shovel! No one EVER asks to shovel our driveway, lol! and I don't blame them, it's way too long.
I think this is a 'regional thing'. I don't live in the suburbs and our houses are close together and our driveways are not that big. Every big snowstorm, a couple of guys ring my bell. I really don't want people traipsing on my unshoveled porch and possibly getting hurt. But, there will come a time when we will WANT someone to shovel the snow for us. I HATE SHOVELING SNOW with a passion!!!!