top of page

Ask Aaron: Pruning & Planting around Trees

My west-facing locust tree is gorgeous. But provides so much shade to the front yard, where it is. What are some colorful low light plants I could put in my shaded front yard to complement the tree?” - @collettaoodalolly

Great question! We love recommending native perennials for all types of plantings and there are plenty of grasses and flowering natives that would be perfect for below your locust. Both white tinged sedge and ivory sedge are bunching grasses that also provide great winter habitat for beneficial insects. For more colorful flowering plants, check out asters (particularly white woodland and heart leafed), columbine, Joe Pye weed or red beebalm!

Hope that helps!


With a tree, how do you know how much to prune it? When is the best time to prune?” - @bethanyalyon

It depends on the tree, for sure. You’ll want to start by pruning any dead, damaged or diseased limbs, as well as any suckers and watersprouts. Beyond those basics, it’s all about getting light and air into the core of the tree. For fruit trees like apples, apricots, and pears you can generally clear out roughly 20% of the previous year's growth, which will help spur growth in the remaining limbs. The best time to prune is during these winter months, although spring is generally fine too. Also, check out the Pruning Fruit Trees workshop coming up on the 29th! 

Happy pruning!


Have your own gardening questions you want to be answered? Email us your questions, and our Farm Manager, Aaron French, will answer a select few questions monthly!


bottom of page