Rose Pruning Guide

Rose Bush Pruning Guide


The best time to prune roses in the Birmingham, Hoover, Helena, and Pelham areas of Alabama, is in the late Winter/early Spring time.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED to get started:

  • Hand pruners for growth and branches less than ½ inch thick.
  • Good gloves
  • Heavy long sleeves


Before you get started, just be sure to prune to the height that you want your rose bush to be in order to keep a uniform height and size.
In order for your roses to thrive, it is easiest to do in the following order:

  1. Remove the leaves – You want to be able to see the stems so that you can also see and remove any pest or disease areas.
  2. Remove the dead areas – Cut the dead wood areas back to the base.
  3. Remove crossing branches/Open up the center – The crossing branches rub and can cause damage. You want to achieve an open vase like shape.
  4. Remove thin areas – if it is thinner than a pencil, you’ll want to remove it.
  5. Prune remaining areas – Cut about 1/2″ above where the leaf meets the stem. Be sure to cut at a 45 degree angle that slopes away from the bud so that water can run off.
After you have done the above steps, just clean up beneath and then feed them!

If you have any questions, need some advice or would like some help, reach out, we’re here to help! 

Crepe Myrtle Pruning Guide for Birmingham

how to trim crepe myrtles

Your Crepe Myrtle Pruning Guide

how to trim crepe myrtles

To properly prune a crepe myrtle, it’s a good idea to know what you’re trying to accomplish. Remember, you can always go back and cut more, but you can’t undo. A common objective is to create and maintain defined main trunks while thinning out out the smaller growth.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED to get started:

  • Hand pruners for growth and branches less than ½ inch thick.
  • Loppers for branches ½ to 1 ½ inches thick
  • Pole pruner or pruning saw for branches thicker than 1 ½ inches
  • Ladder (if the tree is taller/mature)

WHEN should you cut?

The best time to prune a crepe myrtle is in the late winter time. During this time it will be leafless allowing you to easily see all of the branches. It’s also important to know that trimming at this time of year helps to bloom new growth, which will happen during the Spring. Pruning during late winter won’t reduce blooming, but increases it.

tips on pruning crepe myrtles

WHAT should you cut?

It is easiest to remove branches in the following order:

  1. Remove suckers – remove the sprouts that emerge come up from the base.
  2. Shape the Trunk – remove side branches that grow from the main trunks up to around 4-6 feet.
  3. Thin branches – trim the higher inner branches that grow toward the center.
  4. Remove excess – remove the crossing, rubbing, and dead growth.
  5. Shape – finish up by removing branches or growth that detract from the tree’s appearance.

Additional tips

  • Be sure to trim at an angle.
  • For tall trees, trim high.
  • For bushes, trim low.
  • Trim at least 8 to 12 inches above the “knuckles” if present.

Try to always cut back to the trunk or a larger branch. It’s not a good idea to leave stubs. Removing the seed-heads on the ends of branches isn’t necessary, but optional.

If you have any questions, need some advice or would like some help, reach out, we’re here to help! 

A homeowner’s guide for a healthy lawn

Homeowner's Guide for a Healthy Lawn

You don’t need to spend hours every day tending to your lawn to make it healthy, it’s easier than you think! Here is a great guide to obtaining a great-looking lawn.

The way in which you mow your lawn plays a big role in healthy grass. As a rule of thumb, you should cut your grass at a proper shorter height that’s appropriate for your grass type when you mow for the first time in the season. This helps to remove dead grass and allows sufficient sunlight in. For subsequent mowings, the cutting height should be around 2 – 3 inches (based upon the type of grass you have) and always make sure that the mowing blade is sharp.

To look its best, your lawn should receive 1 to 2 inches of water every week. This amount of water will ensure that the roots have enough water to grow and your grass will not dry out. Aim to water your lawn early in the morning as less water will be evaporated and your grass has a chance to dry out before it gets dark.

Aerating your lawn allows oxygen and nutrients to the roots grow healthy. Aerating your lawn involves removing small soil cores and helps improve the interaction between the soil and the surrounding atmosphere. Additionally, aeration helps fertilizer and water to reach deeper levels of the soil and also decreases soil compaction. The best way to aerate your lawn is to use a professional aerator, which is available at most home improvement stores. Aeration should be done in either the spring or fall when there is less of a chance that there will be weed seeds settling in the open spaces.

Finally, using a good fertilizer at the right time can make a huge difference to the health of your lawn. Fertilizing the grass in the fall will help to repair any damage that occurred during the summer and can also help your grass to survive during the colder months. Fertilizing in the early Spring can help “kick-start” growth and green quickly. Extra applications during the year also help your lawn to be in tip-top shape.

Sharper Image Lawns is here if you need help getting your grass strong and healthy. Give us a call and we’ll help you with a customized lawn program that works for you.