Pruning shrubs, technique, season

Shears for pruning shrubs and trees

Pruning shrubs is an important part of their development, their blooming or simply the harmonious shape of your specimen.

Far from being a difficult task, it can even become a true pleasure for you once you master the few important and simple tricks to master this practice.

Pruning truly serves as a rejuvenating fountain of youth for plants. It is always beneficial and helps them grow back more beautiful than ever.
There are 2 major shrubs categories: evergreen and deciduous.

When should shrubs be pruned?

Depending on the type of shrub, there are 3 moments when pruning and trimming can take place:

  • At the end of winter
  • At the beginning of summer
  • In fall

Shrubs that bloom in spring aren’t pruned at the end of winter but at the end of the blooming season. This is most often at the beginning of summer.

Pruning shrubs with deciduous leafage
(those that lose their leaves)

  1. Shrubs that bloom in spring
    These are pruned at the end of the blooming, when the flowers are wilting.
  2. Summer-flowering shrubs
    First start with a light pruning at the end of winter.
    Remove dead branches or those branches that may have frozen over winter. After the blooming, balance the general shape of the shrub and clear its center somewhat to give it as much light as you can.
  3. For all shrubs except for those that bloom in winter
    In fall, prune lightly, more for aesthetic purposes than anything else.

Pruning shrubs with evergreen leafage
(those that keep their leaves)

  1. At the end of winter, during the month of March, we focus on giving the shrub its desired shape.
    This step is all the more relevant that the shrub is part of a hedge. This first pruning is the one that can be the most severe.
  2. At the beginning of summer, it bodes well to refresh your specimen in that you balance the shape of the shrub, eventually removing branches that are too long or would seem ungainly.
  3. In fall, work on the silhouette lightly, but do not prune the larger branches.
    Severe pruning in fall could weaken the shrub and make it more vulnerable to frost.

Pruning shrubs is an easy practice to master.
Your plant will grow back with even more vigor, and since each specimen is unique, your experience will build up into true mastery.

Read also on pruning

Read also about shrubs

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
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