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Slide 16
Pruning in the late winter promotes fast re-growth in the spring, as most plants are dormant during the winter. It's also easier to see the shape of deciduous plants in the winter, since their foliage is gone.

Pruning trees and shrubs may be one of the most intimidating but necessary chores in gardening.

Sometimes nature is the greatest pruner. When trees grow too close together, leaves and branchesdie as they compete for sunlight and airflow. Pruning is a vital part of gardening and helps trees and shrubs develop into sound structures. Pruning also helps to maximize flowering and produce bountiful fruit.

Pruning on a mild, dry day, helps plants develop into sound structures without over-stressing their limbs.

When pruning, first prune out dead and diseased branches. This is often called thinning. Sometimes this is all that is required.

Then remove the overgrown and smaller branches to increase light and air at the crown of the tree.

In general, your goal is to keep the branches that develop or maintain the structure of the tree. Cut branches at the node, the point at which one branch or twig attaches to another. Think twice, cut once, and watch carefully.

Remove crossing branches, water sprouts (vigorous upright growing shoots that form on trunks or side branches), and suckers (vigorous shoots that develop near or from below ground).

Always disinfect your pruning shears before moving from one plant to another to avoid spreading any disease amongst plants. A quick dip in rubbing alcohol works well as a disinfectant. Also make sure your pruning shears are sharpened, a nice clean cut is alway preferred.

If a plant flowers in the spring, it can be pruned immediately after it has finished blooming for the season. Plants that bloom in the early spring set their flower buds in the fall. Winter or early spring pruning of these plants would reduce the amount of spring blooms for them.

What to Prune in Late Winter or Early Spring:
Narrow-leaved evergreens (conifers) to improve their shape, keep them in bounds, induce bushy growth, or thin out unwanted branches. These include arborvitae, juniper, pine and yew. Broad-leaved evergreens grown primarily for foliage rather than flowers.

Summer-flowering shrubs, vines, etc. You will not destroy the coming season's flower buds since they will develop on new growth made after you prune. Included are butterfly bush, crape myrtle, perennial hibiscus, rose of Sharon and trumpet vine.

Bush roses (hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, miniatures) to repair winter damage, shape plants to induce flower-bearing shoots. This type of rose blooms on new growth.

Climbing roses, which should have only winter-killed parts removed at this time, because in most types blooms develop on shoots arising from old wood. Any cane that has lived through the winter is a potential source of flowers, and therefore precious.

If you have any pruning questions (or gardening questions) stop on down to Van Bourgondien Nursery and we will be happy to assist you! We also carry a full line of pruning shears and gardening gloves.

Happy Gardening!




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