TribLIVE

| Business


 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

How to to prune — or not

About The Tribune-Review
The Tribune-Review can be reached via e-mail or at 412-321-6460.
Contact Us | Video | Photo Reprints

By The Washington Post

Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013, 2:15 p.m.

If you are itching to get into the garden on a mild winter's day, you might want to grab a good pair of hand pruners and sharp loppers and go in search of a shrub to prune.

This is an adventure fraught with peril for the shrubs, but if you have a reasonable sense of what to do, you can improve the look, health and vigor of these garden stalwarts and control them.

How and when to prune a shrub depends on what it is. The golden rule: Better to do no pruning than to butcher the wrong shrub.

To Prune:

• Conservative pruning has health benefits for spring-blooming trees like dogwoods and redbuds, even if some of the April show will be lost.

• Crape myrtles can be pruned in the winter. Don't reduce them to stubs.

• Loppers offer a safe way into roses. Finish with pruners.

• Beautyberry bushes can be massive. Cut them back hard.

• Butterfly bushes also respond to a vigorous chop in winter.

Not to prune:

• Azaleas, pieris and viburnums set flower buds in summer. Pruning at this time would compromise their spring display.

• Leave hydrangeas alone except for light grooming in late April.

• Weeping Japanese maples require care and precision.

• Wait until after the forsythia blooms in mid-April, then prune old bushes hard.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
  2. North Versailles, Murrysville families still waiting for report on 2011 chopper crash that killed couple
  3. Pirates notebook: Catcher Stewart activated; Sanchez demoted
  4. Philanthropist helps waitress become nurse
  5. Penguins’ Bylsma wants Cup version of Letang
  6. Pitt QB Savage turns down NYC invite to NFL Draft
  7. Drug crime reclassification to help ex-cons get vote rights
  8. Youngster falls over hillside in Churchill
  9. Outdoor notices: April 19
  10. Orpik: Penguins must keep their cool
  11. State Police: People injured in Parkway crash resulting from police chase
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.