Topics to avoid at parties: politics, religion and pruning. We kid, but there’s a lot of confusion surrounding pruning. And we don’t blame you for being a little leery about picking up the pruners.
First, don’t hesitate to ask us about your plant and when it should be pruned. That’s why we’re here.
We’d be more than happy to help, even if you don’t know the name of the plant. Just snap a pic and email it over or bring a sample in (we suggest using a Ziploc baggy), and we can tell you the variety and give you guidelines on pruning.
Second, you can always prune dead or diseased branches from any tree or shrub.
Because it’s sometimes easier to see them when plants are dormant (i.e. in the winter or early spring), this is normally an ideal time.
Third, if you remember one thing, it’s this:
if your tree or shrub is ornamental or flowering, prune after it blooms and flowers are spent. Prune at other times and you may be cutting off developing buds.
With that said, there’s not much that needs to be pruned in early spring, aside from clearing away dead branches and cleaning things up a bit. Plus, we’re big believers in planting trees and shrubs for their mature size, so they grow into their space and you have less work.
Ok, let’s get to it! Here’s what you want to prune now (early spring) before new growth begins:
- Ornamental grasses (cut back 3-6 inches from the ground)
- Smooth leaf and Peegee/panicle hydrangea
- Sweet bay magnolia
- Butterfly bush
- Golden raintree
- Rose of Sharon
- Blue-mist spirea