Pruning trees and shrubs, like this Rose of Sharon, tends to be an intimidating process for many people, but it doesn’t need to be.
Knowing when to prune trees and shrubs can take some of the guesswork and concern out of this garden chore.
Observing a few simple pruning tips will also make the job easier on you and your plants.
In general, it is best to prune plants while they are dormant in the winter. This avoids shocking the plant. If a plant is in desperate need of heavy pruning, it should be done while the plant is dormant. But if a plant just needs a quick trim to maintain a pleasing form, the rules change.
Avoid heavy pruning in the spring while a plant’s leaves are expanding. If a little light pruning is necessary at this time, go ahead and prune away, but this isn’t the time for drastic pruning.
Dead limbs and branches may be pruned off at any time.
If you’re unsure whether or not a branch is truly dead, scratch the bark with a fingernail. A living branch will appear green beneath the bark.
If a plant flowers in the spring, it can be pruned immediately after it has finished blooming for the season.
Plants that bloom in the early spring set their flower buds in the fall, and winter or early spring pruning of these plants would reduce the amount of spring blooms for them.