Pruning

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Laner, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. Laner

    Laner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 332

    I have a condo assn that has over-grown shrubs. I typically trim shrubs in the late Fall, however, since I don't do much pruning I was wondering if I could trim these bushes back in the early Spring and then again in the Fall?
     
  2. erestupete

    erestupete LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    What type of shrubs are they? What part of the country do you live in? If anything, I would strongly suggest you check with your county extension agent. Your county might even have a master's garden program where one of those folks can answer your question.
     
  3. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Here's a basic rule of thumb that will serve you well. If the shrub is a spring bloomer, prune for shape right after the blooms have fallen. This allows new shoots to establish and create next year's buds. Summer (and fall) bloomers bloom on this season's wood, so they should be pruned before spring starts. In other words, it's time to prune the summer bloomers right now, but if you prune spring bloomers, you will be cutting off the flower buds before they open.
     
  4. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Just noticed that the OP says this is a condo assoc, which may mean that we aren't dealing with "bloomers" at all. For foliage plants -- evergreen or deciduous, I don't think you'll go too wrong with an early spring shaping.
     
  5. Laner

    Laner LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 332

    Here are some of the types of plants I am dealing with: Spirea, dogwood, lilac and evergreens. There are a few others, but I don't recall what type they are.
     
  6. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    Spirea, lilac and evergreens can be pruned now. Dogwood is a tree, so if you are going to prune it, just prune cross branches and dead limbs.
     
  7. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    As mentioned above, if you prune spirea, dogwood and lilac right now, you will be cutting off this year's blossoms. I would wait until after the bloom cycle, which will only be a few weeks. Not only will this make the plants more attractive this year, it will fit into the plant's growth cycle better for next year's appearance.

    Early spring pruning on evergreens should work fine.
     
  8. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    As for spirea, it should not matter what variety you have, it is still ok to prune now before budding out. Spirea leafs out first then blooms, so you should be fine. Dogwood's, unless you make large cuts on multiple branches, you are simply removing a few blooms that won't make that big of an impact on the overall blooming of the tree. Just make sure to make clean cuts. Hollies and evergreens go the same, go ahead and cut now. If in doubt, wait. But depending upon your region, your blooming cycles may not be for a couple of months. We already have dogwoods starting to bloom now.
     
  9. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,720

    You said in the opening post that you normally do pruning in the fall.
    Then you said on page #5 that you have "evergreens".

    If you meant evergreen shrubs like taxus, juniper and boxwood, you definitely want to make sure you get any pruning that you may do to them done before the end of...about July.

    Pruning evergreens like this later in the summer and early fall can spur on flush growth that will likely later die out, or 'tip burn', with the winter's onslaught....then you've got ugly evergreens to look at :cry:.
     
  10. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    From the National Gardening Association web site:

    It appears to be variety dependent.

    I have read and experienced that the issue of post bloom pruning is not just the loss of a few blooms this year. The growth cycle of next year's wood responds better to pruning after flowering than before on Spring bloomers.
     

Share This Page