Pruning seems counter-intuitive to plant growth. Why would you snip off limbs or twigs? Well, targeted pruning can help with improving both the structure of a tree or shrub as well as the health, e.g., If branches, or woody stems, are rubbing against one another or if there is the presence of dead branches/twigs.
There is also the timing of pruning, which can affect bud growth, and with some trees and shrubs, it can affect the flowering for the following season.
Always think about what you are pruning and how it will affect the look of the tree or shrubs… like a haircut it is always easier to take more off than put it back on!
What should I prune?
- Dead, broken, or diseased branches
- Branches that cross or grow inward or downward
- Suckers and water sprouts
Remember the goal… if pruning is done correctly, when you are finished, others won’t notice you pruned!
When should I prune?
Evergreen and shrubs such as Arborvitae, Juniper, and Boxwood, and privet can be trimmed in early Spring and shaped to encourage new growth.
- Evergreen trees such as pines, Hemlock, Boxwoods, and Spruce control growth and size.
- Prune Roses in early Spring. Cut back by a 1/3 and remove all the deadwood.