January was the  warmest in 67 years  and the  wettest month in 3 years .  These two factors have induced lawns to grow when they are normally dormant.  This is not normally the time of year we mow and due to the heavy rain recently, and in the upcoming forecast, we quite frankly shouldn't as the saturated soil is soft and could lead to rutting and damage as shown above.  With the forecast of continual rain, we will likely not be doing much mowing for a while.  The long-range February forecast is for above average rain all month.  Lawns may get tall and shaggy, but we don't want to create the damage as previously described.
In addition to avoiding mowing to prevent damage to lawns, we want to keep on target with our winter pruning and shrub bed cleaning to be prepared for spring. As discussed in past newsletters, our focus on rejuvenation pruning has us quite busy this time of year and we want to stay on target.
Many landscape shrubs naturally grow larger and more rapidly than the desired height where planted.  In keeping them pruned to the appropriate height, many shrubs get twiggy and ugly.  To correct this, we have adopted rejuvenation pruning to bring them back into appropriate size.  Sometimes this can be achieved by thinning pruning, but other times they need to be cut down to the ground and be allowed to regrow at a shorter height and with a more natural habit.  The problem is that when we make the cutback, it looks like we killed the plants.  Don't worry, however, as they always grow back and look much better throughout the season.  This will occur annually on some shrubs and on others every 4-5 years.
Again, this may appear drastic but in our experience over the past few years of implementing this philosophy in our winter pruning practices, we are seeing healthier, more natural looking shrubs maintained at their desired height in the landscape.
Deciduous Shrubs Rejuvenation First
Because they have lost their leaves, Deciduous shrubs will get rejuvenated first in the winter. We will move to Evergreen shrubs next but shrubs like Barberry, Abelia, Dogwood, Forsythia, Hydrangea, and Rose are the focus of our crews right now.
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