Many audience have questioned, “When is the most effective time to prune shrubs?”

Most house owners and landscape maintenance businesses get into a program of pruning shrubs in the course of the summer time following new progress has formulated. They normally slice them back shut to the exact same height as before the new advancement occurred. This speedily qualified prospects to thick, stubby stems and a large amount of aged lifeless stems that can be unsightly.

A additional appropriate approach is to use a process known as renewal pruning in the course of the dormant year from early November by way of early April. This can be adopted by light-weight pruning of new advancement periodically in the summer time to get rid of quick-developing shoots that search out of position. All of my shrub pruning contracts incorporate a dormant season renewal pruning and just one to 3 summer months visits based on shrub species and how uniform the homeowner wishes the shrubs to be maintained through the summer season.

Renewal pruning entails yearly removing of about a single-third of the oldest stems from a shrub every single calendar year. The oldest (thickest) stems should really be eradicated as near to the ground as possible. Dead stems ought to also be eliminated entirely. This ought to be carried out through the dormant period regardless of flowering time. Two-thirds of the flowering stems will be preserved with this pruning apply.

Renewal pruning encourages the advancement of new shoots from the foundation of the shrub which swap all those that experienced been eradicated. This method can help decrease shrub size mainly because there will hardly ever be stems a lot more than a few several years previous. Shrubs pruned in this way will be denser, a lot more compact and they will not have stubby or lifeless stems in them.

In addition to removing old canes, this is also a fantastic time to take away unwanted weedy trees or shrubs that frequently get started in desirable shrubs. Cut these undesired woody plants as very low as doable and deal with the freshly minimize floor with a stump and brush killer that is made up of Triclopyr. Be careful not to get the chemical onto the stems of the appealing shrub. I use a drip oil can to utilize the chemical so I can just place a several drops on to the stems I want to eliminate.

If you have summer time blooming shrubs like roses, spireas and hydrangea, you can prune the full shrub again to a desirable height any time during the dormant time. Old canes and deadwood ought to also be taken out from these to boost new shoots from the base. The tops of some of these will die back in the winter season. Pruning dead tops back again to practical buds can be accomplished when new expansion begins in the spring.

Receiving shrubs into excellent affliction with renewal pruning can take two to a few decades of dormant-time pruning. The initially pair of seasons commonly needs removing of a big volume of aged and lifeless stems. Summer time pruning is basic gentle just to sustain a uniform but all-natural condition. By the 3rd 12 months of this course of action, the dormant-season pruning is more average and summertime maintenance is pretty easy.

If you have tree or shrub questions you can e-mail them to me. I reply to precise questions right and cover additional typical concerns in this column.

Doug Courneya is operator of Courneya Horticulture Services. Courneya has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in horticulture and is a accredited arborist with far more than 25 yrs of working experience. Mail plant and back garden inquiries to everyday or email Courneya specifically at

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