Spring’s blooms are just around the corner. While we all can’t wait to enjoy the beauty, many homeowners stress over maintaining nature’s bounty in their yards. One of the most often asked questions regarding spring shrub pruning is when to cut and when not to.

Why Prune?

Although many plants don’t require pruning to be healthy, there are other reasons to perform the task. A little trimming encourages reblooming and growth, creates an appealing shape, and can improve its ability to flower or bear fruit. Most people prune to remove old blooms or random shoots.

When to Prune Shrubs that Flower in the Spring

Trim up trees and shrubs that flower in the spring soon after they bloom. The reason for this is that these plants develop buds the year before. This is referred to as old wood blooming. If you prune azaleas, lilacs, forsythias, and rhododendrons during the dormant seasons in winter you’ll take these precious buds too soon. That results in a shrub that won’t flower that year. To prune, cut the largest stems from the bottom to encourage new growth. You can trim the rest of the stems to shape the shrub.

When to Prune Other Shrubs

It’s best to prune shrubs that flower in the summer while they are still dormant during the late winter or early spring months. These plants don’t produce buds until they are actively growing in the spring, on new wood. Butterfly bushes, honeysuckle, and wisteria fall into this category that needs time to recover before they bloom.

Trim up shrubs that don’t produce flowers anytime except in fall. For major pruning, winter dormancy is the best time.

The Most Basic Principle of Spring Shrub Pruning

A simple rule of thumb for spring shrub pruning is not to cut if you are unsure if the plant needs it or if you are not sure of the right time to do it. Many plants, like hydrangea and rose bushes, have different varieties that fall into different categories for cutting. Never guess if you are not sure of the type of shrub. Consult an expert rather than risk ruining your landscaping.

Call Free Spray Lawn Care today at 419-529-5296 with any questions or concerns about pruning your trees and shrubs, and let us help you keep your yard beautifully in bloom this spring.