Can I Still Prune My…

Can I Still Prune My…

Sometimes homeowners don’t notice plants that need pruning until the summertime. “Is it too late to prune?” our customers ask. Here are some general guidelines:

You can take off deadwood from any plant any time. If it’s dead, it’s dead! Cutting off dead branches and foliage will improve the look of any shrub or tree.

If you prune any of your spring flowering shrubs now you’ll be cutting off the flowers for next year. So you might want to only do a little touch up clipping on your azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs, forsythia and other plants that flower before the middle of June. Make a note on your calendar to prune these plants immediately after they finish flowering.

In general you don’t want to do any renovation, or heavy pruning, in the late summer or early fall. This is because any major pruning that removes more than an eighth of a plant’s total size will stimulate new growth. Any new shoots produced in the early fall won’t have time to grow and harden off before winter hits. So save any large scale pruning jobs for next spring.

Here are some of the common plants you can trim in the summer or early fall.

It's never to early or late to cut out deadwood! If you still have the bare canes on hydrangeas, there is no time like the present to prune them out.

It’s never to early or late to cut out deadwood! If you still have the bare canes on hydrangeas, there is no time like the present to prune them out.

Yews often put out new growth in the summer. You can shear these off to maintain a cleaner look anytime.

Yews often put out new growth in the summer. You can shear these off to maintain a cleaner look anytime.

You say your Leyland cypress are growing lean and lanky?  These can be sheared or clipped back by 8" to 16" just about any time. Some people wait and prune their Leyland cypress and hollies just before the holidays so they can use the greens for decorating.

You say your Leyland cypress are growing lean and lanky? These can be sheared or clipped back by 8″ to 16″ just about any time. Some people wait and prune their Leyland cypress and hollies just before the holidays so they can use the greens for decorating.

Privet can be pruned at this time of year as well. Many people clip back privet in the early spring and then give it another quick shearing in the late-summer or fall. Just try to keep the top of the privet shrubs smaller than the bottom if you want the foliage to extend all the way to the ground. If the top of your hedge is wider than the bottom it will shade the lower parts so the hedge will end up with "bare ankles."

Privet can be pruned at this time of year as well. Many people clip back privet in the early spring and then give it another quick shearing in the late-summer or fall. Just try to keep the top of the privet shrubs smaller than the bottom if you want the foliage to extend all the way to the ground. If the top of your hedge is wider than the bottom it will shade the lower parts so the hedge will end up with “bare ankles.”

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