Trim trees and large shrubs now

If you haven't yet got round to trimming overgrown trees and large shrubs, now is the time to do it.


In a small garden it's so easy for trees to take up too much sky. You plant them to provide privacy and shade in a garden, but before you know it they are blocking out too much sun and reaching for the stars. Some trees also need to be trimmed occasionally to keep them bushy with foliage. I have a large tree (myoporum laetum) that requires trimming every 5 to 6 years when it becomes leggy.

July is ideally the best time to trim trees or large shrubs, but you have until the middle of August if the weather is cold and dry. If you're doing general pruning - find helpful tips here.

Trimming a large tree is not for sissies, so make sure you have everything you need close at hand when you climb up that stepladder.

◊ DO have a strap that can be secured around a large branch or trunk to prevent you from falling, and make sure the stepladder itself is firmly bedded on the ground.

◊ If trees are very overgrown you may need to don protective clothing - or something with long sleeves to protect your arms from scratches.

◊ Wear comfortable shoes that will make it easy to work up and down the ladder, or on sturdy branches.

Start high and work your way down - remove smaller branches at the top and get these out of the way to make it easier to work down to trim to the height you want. I found a couple of articles extremely helpful in determining where and where not to cut, and there are plenty of videos on You Tube if you're not sure how to start.

GOOD TO KNOW: If trees overhang a neighbour's property, have someone help you ensure that trees fall in the right direction. Wrap a length of rope towards the top of branches being cut and angle these away from windows and yourself.