Is your yard looking a bit unruly after all the spring rain and storms? Grab a pair of sharp pruning shears and clean things up a bit.
My favorite thing to prune is my arborvitaes and evergreens because it reminds me of years gone by. When I was a young teenager, my first job was shearing pines. Long, hot days shaping these beauties into what would be cut Christmas trees come Fall. Good memories!
Pruning is a dwarfing process that invigorates growth for the remaining part. Prune to keep growth dense, keep plants small and to modify shape.
HOW TO PRUNE
- Use sharp, clean tools
- Make smooth cuts
- Always cut back to a growing point — a bud or branch; don’t leave long stubs
- Paint or spray wounds larger than 1″ with wound dressing
- Remove deadwood and suckers ANY time they appear; no need to wait until a certain time of year
- Repair storm damage as soon as possible
WHEN TO PRUNE Common Backyard Shrubs
By late-spring, early summer these shrubs may need pruning:
Barberry – remove old shoots and control shape
Forsythia – thin out older, woody branches to ground level
Honeysuckle (shrub) – thin out older, woody branches to ground level
Lilac – remove flower heads, suckers and 1/3 of the oldest wood
Mockorange – thin old canes
Mountainlaurel – heavy pruning to control shape
Pruning is a creative art; a way to beautify your yard and outdoor space. Have fun!
Source: A Better Homes and Garden New Garden Book circa 1961 that my mother passed down to me.