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2. Practice Natural Pruning & Plant Spacing

Natural pruning and plant spacing minimizes green waste that must be hauled away, reduces fossil fuels needed to haul and process the green waste, and best of all reduces overall maintenance costs!


Certification Requirement

Plant species should be selected and plants spaced and pruned to allow them to grow to their natural size and shape. Plants that have been sheared, boxed or topped should be restored to their natural shape or replaced with plants that will fit into the space when they are fully grown. Plants located in a row or adjacent to buildings, sidewalks or in narrow strips/medians should be spaced at the maximum plant spread according to a published reference plant book and still fit into their planting area without significant overhang against buildings or over walkways, streets or into adjacent plants.

Established privacy hedges that are not irrigated or fertilized and hand-pruned occasionally are exempt from the natural pruning requirement.

Helpful Resources

Bay Friendly List of Plants for Natural Hedges

Pruning California Native Plants

Water Smart Gardening in Santa Cruz County
Monterey County Waterwise Landscaping

• Sunset Western Garden Book
• California Native Plants for the Garden by Bornstein, Fross, and O’Brien
• Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates by East Bay Municipal Utility District

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