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Ask the HOA Expert: Pruning Perfection

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Landscaping is a homeowner association asset that can and should improve with age. However, diligent attention is required in order to make this happen. Skilled maintenance work, along with occasional and ongoing improvement work are essential.

Skilled shrub pruning is one of the most important requirements of a sound maintenance program. Selective cutting sustains a natural form while removing twigs and branches that are getting too large or overcrowded. Knowledgeable pruning will allow plant size reductions with improved vigor in most cases. Plant shearing, shaping and hedge trimming, by contrast, ignores plant growth habit and ultimately destroys the branch structure.

Carving a sheared form into any shrub increases twig density at the surface, thereby shading out, and in many cases killing off interior growth. The sheared shrubs still continue to get larger with each passing season, until ultimately the only realistic option remaining is removal and replacement.

As you can see in this example, the landscape maintenance philosophy can produce vastly different returns for your investment. The recommended philosophy produces a maturing shrub that contributes more each year to the aesthetic appeal, enjoyment and value of your property. The other philosophy leads to overcrowding, property devaluation and requires correction by replanting a new, small plant. This replacement will take years to contribute much to the appeal of your association. What landscape philosophy does your HOA follow?

For more innovative homeowner association management strategies, subscribe to www.Regenesis.net. Written by Richard Thompson for www.RealtyTimes.com Copyright © 2017 Realty Times All Rights Reserved.

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