The Do’s and the Don’ts of Late Spring Pruning

You know that feeling after a fresh haircut? Plants love it too. Most plants actually benefit from a regular, annual pruning. Pruning is healthy and it encourages fresh and new growth. While annual pruning is great for plants, it is also important to know when, how and the do’s and don’ts of late spring pruning.

Do Prune

1. Grasses
It’s a personal choice whether to cut back your grass now or in the early spring but regardless it needs to be done. If you left them alone during the fall and winter then we recommend heading outside and doing that immediately. You should cut them back before new growth begins because once new growth begins with the old blades, it is difficult to differentiate the two.
2. Roses
If you have roses around your house then you already may know that they have a reputation of being a difficult plant. Pruning is a vital element in their care. Roses break dormancy just after spring’s final frost so you should prune them just before this. You need to cut away any winter kill so that it is back to healthy tissue and clean up remaining foliage and debris.
3. Shade Hydrangeas
These beautiful woody plants may live long lives without ever being pruned but it may improve their overall appearance. You may want to trim or cut it back a little bit, you should eliminate their dead wood. When you prune a hydrangea you improve its vigor and may see larger flowers.
4. Deciduous Trees
If you have a tree that sheds its leaves annually, it is deciduous. Corrective pruning is cutting back the damaged or diseased wood to make room for the healthy. You should also remove rubbing or poorly placed branches on the tree as early as possible. Pruning will allow you to alter the natural growth of the tree and it will begin to grow in your desired shape.

Do NOT Prune

While pruning is beneficial to most plants you should avoid pruning these because it could do more harm than good. If you prune these shrubs or trees too late in the spring then it will possibly remove this year’s flowers which means you will have to wait a whole year to see them bloom again. When these are done flowering, then it is okay to trim, shape or prune.
1. Magnolia
2. Azalea
3. Rhododendron
4. Lilac
5. Cherry
6. Crabapple

General rule of thumb for flowering shrubs and trees – When does it bloom?

Before June 15th? Don’t Prune
After June 15th? Prune now.

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