The snow may already be flying, but now is a great time to think about perimeter clearing and renovational pruning.
Perimeter clearing is the removal of saplings and small trees along the edge of your property that may be creeping into your lawn area or perimeter planting beds. Clearing the edge of your property can make cleanups easier, as barriers to blowing leaves into the woods are reduced or eliminated.
Removing this lower canopy can also increase the amount of light getting to the edge of both your lawn and the wood line. This could mean denser, healthier turf and also a reduction in tick habitat, and thus ticks as well! Ticks thrive in cool, moist areas with leaf litter to complete the various stages of their life cycle; so perimeter clearing can move tick habitat further into the wood line and decrease your chances of encountering these pests!
Renovational pruning is performed on certain shrubs that have overgrown their place in the landscape, but are otherwise healthy and still desirable where they are. Plants such as Red Twig Dogwood, Forsythia, Wiegela, Privet, Spirea, and Barberry are good candidates for this treatment. A modified version of this, removing about one-third of the oldest stems at the ground each year, can be done on shrubs such as lilacs to encourage new growth. Over a three year period, all the old stems are removed and a vigorous young plant is in its place.