Pruning Trees and Shrubs in Your Landscape

When to prune and when not to prune. That's a common question dozens of people have this time of year. You can put certain plants into a group to prune at a certain time of year, while others can be pruned at a different time.

Most trees and shrubs can be pruned after they lose their leaves. We call it "dormant pruning." However, some shrubs should be pruned in the growing season.

First of all, if your trees or shrubs are labeled to be pruned in the dormant season or after they have shed their leaves, the best time to prune them is in the latter part of February. The reasoning is, like I have said several times before, is that the cut that you make at late winter pruning will heal much quicker as it gets closer to when the buds start to swell.

Sure, you can prune them anytime after the leaves fall, but why not wait until it's a better time in February? The only precaution in pruning late in February is to make sure, when pruning, that the temperature is above freezing.

Keep in mind that using pruning paint on the wood is not recommended. Now, for all those shrubs that bloom before June 15, you should prune them immediately after their last blooms fall.

Furthermore, make sure your tools are sharp when tackling your pruning job because what you are trying to do is to have a sharp clean cut that will ward off future insect and disease problems.

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