Why is it important to prune your shrubs, you ask? By pruning your shrubs you are not only increasing their aesthetic appearance but you are also improving their health. By discarding dead heads on shrubs you allow the plant to regrow new buds. In addition, pruning can be used to remove diseased areas of your shrubs before those areas spread and infect the entire plant, (it is recommended that following the pruning of any dead areas of a shrub, that you clean your maintenance tool used with Lysol or rubbing alcohol to insure that you don’t further spread any disease). It is beneficial for both your plant, and your landscape’s appearance, so what are you waiting for?
You may be wondering when is the right time to prune my shrubs? Depending on what you are hoping to accomplish it can be done at different times throughout the year. In late winter or early spring (before the buds bloom) pruning can be done to stimulate new tissue growth. This is important because new tissue will insure that your plant grows healthy and that it buds throughout spring and summer. Another time that is excellent for pruning is late summer to early fall. During this time, pruning your shrubs will result in heavy regrowth thus leaving you with thriving shrubs during fall.
It is important to remember that if your shrubs ever experience severe damage from harsh weather or vandalism (being stepped on, driven over, etc.) that you should prune them immediately. This will help them to recover from the damage vs. a slow recovery or no recovery at all.
Lastly, when pruning your plants it is crucial that you cut the branches the right way. For heading cuts (removing the head of the branches) cut up ¼” above the bud and make sure the angle is cut at a slope going away from the bud. If the cut is made too close too the bud, or too steep, the bud may die.
So don’t forget that pruning can be done for aesthetic purposes such as trimming down the size of your plant, encouraging budding and/or for health purposes. Now is the perfect time to get pruning!