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Pruning

WHEN TO PRUNE

NEEDLED EVERGREEN PLANTS are best pruned in the spring just before or during the period of strong growth.  This includes:
Hemlocks
Yews
Arborvitae
Cypress
Pine
Spruce
Junipers
Note:  In the spring, Spruce and Pine trees produce "candle-growth" on which the new needles sprout.  Pruning is best done when the "candle-growth" is at about half of it's normal length.

 

EARLY SPRING BLOOMING PLANTS set their flower buds in July/August.  To prune them after this time is to cut off next year's flowers.  They are best pruned just after they bloom as they have just put out their new growth.
Azaleas
Rhododendron
Saucer Magnolia
Forsythia

 

SUMMER FLOWERING PLANTS are best pruned in late winter to stimulate optimal growth which will result in a great flower show.
Roses
Crape Myrtle
Pee Gee Hydrangea
Rose of Sharon

 

SOME TREES tend to "bleed' if they're pruned in late winter.  While this is actually harmless, you may want to wait intil early fall to avoid this situation.
Maple
Birch
Beech
  

HOW TO PRUNE

  • Use pruning shears or saw.  Dull tools leave sloppy scars that can be an invitation for insect damage.  Choose the desired bud direction;  the bud placement determines the direction the new growth will be.
  • SMALL BRANCHES are easily removed with pruning or loping shears.  The thin cutting blade should be positioned in the trunk side of the cut to make as flush as possible.
  • LARGE LIMBS may be removed with either a two or three cut method.  Make sure not to leave a stub, or to leave a scar.  A clean, fresh cut will readily heal.  ORTHO Pruning Sealer may be used if a scar is left.
  • HEDGES are best developed so that they are wider at the base than at the top.  Such a shape allows light penetration to the lower branches resulting in a full looking hedge all the way to the ground.  Fewer diseases are also likely.