If pruning is necessary, you can do light, corrective pruning any time of the year. More severe pruning of most deciduous trees and non-blooming shrubs should be done during their dormancy in the late winter to early spring before they leaf out. Insects and disease spores are less likely to infest pruning cuts during this time. This is especially important for fruit trees that are vulnerable to fireblight. It is also easier to see the plant’s form when it is without leaves. In spring to early summer, energy reserves are being used for new growth and heavy pruning can weaken a tree or shrub. By late summer and early fall, plants begin storing their energy reserves in their roots to use in dormancy for next season’s spring growth. Pruning should be limited during this time since it may encourage new growth that would not have time to mature before being subjected to freezing temperatures. By late fall after they have lost their leaves and there have been several hard freezes, more of the energy reserves are in their roots and there is less stress on the plant.
“A good pruning job is like a good haircut. It should hardly be noticed at all.”
Many shrubs will look their best when allowed to grow to their natural form with just occasional pruning of dead, damaged or diseased wood. Avoid making cuts at a uniform edge creating a round ball or other unnatural shape or across the top of a shrub. This is a Continue reading “PROPERLY PRUNING (Continued from Why Prune)”