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Trim Shrubs Now in Zone 6A?

Markf

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Connecticut
Folks,
I have recently received requests from my clients to have their shrubs pruned/trimmed. However, being in zone 6A, I thought it prudent to wait until spring. On the other hand, I do not wish to turn away $. Your opinions please from those in zone 6. Thank you. I posted this in Maintence to no avail.
Mark
 

Grassmechanic

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
S.E. Michigan
Depending upon the type of shrub, they can be pruned up until they go dormant. Some even after they are dormant.
 

Rtom45

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Erie, PA.
Shrubs that will flower in the spring time on this years growth should not be pruned until after they flower next spring. Now is as good a good time as any to prune other shrubs.
 

JimLewis

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Beaverton, OR
Rtom45 said:
Shrubs that will flower in the spring time on this years growth should not be pruned until after they flower next spring. Now is as good a good time as any to prune other shrubs.
This is a fairly good rule of thumb. It's good to know which plants flower in early spring (e.g. Azaleas, Rhodies, Camelias, Daphne, Pieris, Broom, etc.) because optimally, you wouldn't want to prune them right now. They should all be pruned after they bloom, in the spring. Not that you'd kill them or anything. And probably most home owners wouldn't notice. But the thing is they are already forming next year's buds right now. So if you pruned them now, their spring show won't be as nice.

Most everything else can be pruned in fall and winter. Read up on pruning Hydrangeas. They are tricky and pruning varies depending on the variety. Some bloom from the current year's growth, some on the previous year's growth. So you can mess those up if you aren't careful. And it's also important to not prune Butterfly bushes back too late in the winter. Now is a great time for Butterfly bushes. But December would be too late. You can kill them by pruning them when the cold has already set in.

If you have japanese laceleaf maples in your area, be very careful. I find most people (even landscapers) are ignorant when it comes to pruning them correctly. So if you see something and you're not sure how to prune it correctly - whether it be a jap. maple or something else that looks tricky - better to stay away from it and prune the others.

Anyway, yah, long story short - now is a decent time to prune most things. But the key word is most. You need to educate yourself on pruning in order to know which ones you wouldn't want to prune now.
 

GarPA

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
PA
as mentioned above, you are ok to prune most plants now except for those that bloom in spring. Right now we're nipping off the new growth that emerged after our last pruning a couple months ago.

and as Jim mentioned hydrangas are tricky and I always have to look it up on when and which ones to prune.
 
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