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Tips on Pruning Shrubs

Tips on Pruning Shrubs

Reasons for pruning:
·         Encourages new growth and bloom
·         Removes dead wood
·         Improves air circulation
·         Shape the plant - plant appearance

General rule of thumb about pruning
Take note of when your shrub blooms.  For ornamental shrubs that bloom in summer or fall on current years' growth, prune in winter. For ornamental shrubs that bloom in spring from last year's growth, prune after they've finished blooming. When pruning a shrub you encourage new growth so you don't want to prune in fall

Rule of thirds
A good general rule is never remove more than 1/3 of the plant at a time.  It is important to leave enough foliage to provide nourishment for the plant.

Types of pruning
Pinching - removed the soft stem tips of new growth to encourage branching and side shoots
Thinning - Cutting whole branches back to the trunk to let air & light reach the center. This helps to prevent diseases.
Shearing - Using shears to shape your shrub into a hedge or topiary
Maintaining - Trimming shrubs to a desired shape & size and to rid of dead or diseased branches
Rejuvenating - Cutting back old unproductive branches on a well established plant to promote new growth

Plants and when to prune
Buddleia -  Prune back to 10" in the spring once you see signs of green at the base
Buxus Green VelvetPrune in spring to help rejuvenate an older plant. Prune Summer to shape hedges & edging plants
Caryopteris  -  Cut back 6-8 inches to rejuvenate plants in spring
Burning Bush Euonymus  -  Can tolerate heavy pruning if needed - Generally no pruning is necessary
Hydrangea - Pruning is not always necessary unless the shrubs have become overgrown. Removing spent blooms and dead stems each year should be adequate for maintaining a healthy hydrangea shrub.
There are two different types of Hydrangeas.  Those that bloom on new wood which can be purned at any time (i.e. Endless Summer, Twist & Shout) and those that bloom on old wood (last year's wood) (i.e. macrophylla-Mophead, lacecap types) which are pruned after flowering)
         (Prune the following in the spring:  Oakleaf types such as Snowflake & Snow Queen)
Climbing Hydrangea petiolaris - Does not require pruning.  Climbing Hydrangea produces flowers from side shoots which can be pruned in fall, after blooming. Cut back shoots to last healthy bud.
Rhamnus Fine Line-   No pruning is required except to removed dead, or broken branches. Can prune back to shape the plant -- cut back no more than a 1/3.
Roses - Knock Out  -  Spring Pruning. The first two years we suggest shaping the plant, cutting back any tall canes and removing dead wood.   After 2 years, prune no more than 1/3 of the plant in addition to removing oldest canes.
Rosemary prostratus-    Prune back after flowering. Cut back by 1/3
Salix Hakuro Nishiki - No need to prune, but can prune in spring to shape.
Syringa - Prune in spring after flowering
Thuja Emerald  & Green Giant Arborvitae will withstand pruning and shearing because new branches develop from concealed buds in the branch crotches. Prune in early spring, or mid summer. When heavy pruning is necessary, prune before new growth begins in early spring so that new growth conceals pruning cuts.     

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