Anyone who has spent any time with me in the garden, soon learns how much I dislike formal pruning of flowering shrubs and desert trees. In the plant industry, we sometimes refer to this type of pruning as ‘poodle pruning’ because of the over abundance of round-shaped trees and shrubs.
I spend a lot of time with clients, teaching them how to properly prune their trees and shrubs and most of the time it does not involve the use of a hedge trimmer.
I recommend throwing away your hedge trimmers if you are tempted to use them on your native, desert plants and use only loppers and hand pruners 😉
Over ten years ago, the community where I was working asked me to do a consultation for the local church. Part of the consultation involved going over the current maintenance practices. This church had a Texas Ebony tree (Ebenopsis ebano) that had not been pruned correctly. In fact, there were signs that the infamous hedge trimmers had been hard at work…..
You know what? It is so incredibly rewarding to revisit a landscape when those in charge have implemented some of my suggestions. Sadly, that doesn’t always happen 😉
Prune any dead and/or crossing branches and any over-reaching side branches as desired. Raise the tree canopy gradually until you reach the desired height above the ground.
Texas Ebony is a slow-growing tree with beautiful, dark green leaves. It does have thorns, so be sure to wear gloves and keep away from high traffic areas. Brown seed pods appear later in the year.
If the photos above have not convinced you not to prune your Texas Ebony into a ‘ball’, are some other examples of others that have been pruned to accentuate their natural shape…
So, which one would you rather have in your garden?
I would like to thank you all for your nice comments about my new Southwest blog at BirdsandBloomsblog.com
Here is a related post about formal pruning that you can read if you like:
Flowering Shrubs Aren’t Meant to be Cupcakes, Poodles or Frisbees