Trimming Your Way to Effective Landscape Lighting

Over the years, we’ve installed many wonderful Oakville landscape lighting systems for our clients. Often, their attention to beautifying their homes at night is accompanied by gorgeous daytime landscape designs that feature ornamental trees, bushes of various shapes and sizes and colourful flowerbeds. After all this careful planning, the one thing that surprises us time and again is how often Oakville landscape lighting maintenance can be overlooked by homeowners.

Every now and then, we’ll get a call a year or two after the system installation regarding concerns over lights that should be brighter, misdirected beams or shadow spots that were not a part of the original lighting design. Typically, it’s assumed to be a problem with a fixture, or a bulb that is fading prematurely. The problem often turns out to be overgrown foliage and not the lighting hardware.

Shedding Some Light on Oakville Landscape Lighting Maintenance
When you have a landscape that is a manicured masterpiece, it’s easy to forget how quickly trees and bushes can lose their shape over time without the proper care. Throw in some landscape lighting and the problem becomes much more apparent. Since a well-designed system will attempt to be as unobtrusive as possible, landscape features are often used to hide fixtures so that they’re practically invisible during the day. To keep your plants healthy and to prevent your daytime foliage from fighting with your night time ambience, consider these trimming and pruning facts for your landscape lighting maintenance plan:

Pruning is More Than Just Aesthetics
A good trimming and pruning regimen improves more than just the look of your garden; it’s essential for the health of the plants. Unchecked growth can undermine the core strength of bushes and trees by pulling nutrients away from the base. This is commonly visible in evergreen bushes, such as junipers, when too much growth in the extremities results in the core becoming dry and weak. Simply trimming overgrown branches and twigs back to just before the bud can keep the plant strong while returning its shape.

The Best Time of Year For Pruning
When it comes to cleaning dead wood and twigs from bushes or mature trees, this can be done at any time during the year without really harming the plant. Pruning and thinning live branches, however, is best done in the very early spring before budding occurs. This allows the plant to heal before the foliage rejuvenates. Pruning should never take place immediately after the spring growing period, as plants have used much of their energy to produce new growth. Likewise, maintaining a consistent pruning routine prevents having to do too much work all at once, which will cause stress to the plant.

Types of Pruning

If you have a number of ground-installed fixtures, your Oakville landscape lighting maintenance will include a lot of raising. This involves trimming the low-laying twigs from the base to increase the amount of ground clearance, and remove any obstruction from the light.

For larger trees, thinning reduces the amount of weight that the main limbs must bear and allows better light penetration by scaling back the amount of foliage. Keep in mind that younger trees can withstand more thinning of live branches than mature trees can. As a rule, you should never thin out a tree by more than 25 percent at a time.

Cleaning involves the removal of weak, dead or diseased branches from the plant, which can affect its overall integrity.

In every case, a branch or twig should always be cut just after its collar or base, never grazing to closely to its parent branch.

To keep your lighting system looking just as great as it did the day it was installed, don’t forget to include the garden flora in your landscape lighting maintenance work. Contact Nite Time Decor now for more information.