Depending on the plant, it may be time to prune those landscape trees and shrubs, but be careful, not all plants should be pruned at the same time of year. Pruning at an incorrect time will remove buds that are already in place for next years flowers.
The best guideline for pruning is to follow the May rule. If a plant blooms before May 1 prune it as soon as its flowers are spent. Early spring flowers, before May 1 are produced on last year’s woody growth, and pruning in spring removes the current bloom buds.
Examples: Azalea, Camellia, Forsythia, Spirea.
If a plant blooms after May 1, prune it before it flowers. Summer flowers produced after May 1 are on new woody growth. Pruning stimulates new growth and greater flower production.
Examples: Crapemyrtle, Lilac Chaste-tree, Gardenia.
**Exception to the May Rule: All Hydrangeas (summer bloomers) should be pruned immediately after flowering.
Reasons to Prune:
General Plant Growth and Pruning Rules:
Principles for Safety:
For more information on types and styles of pruning such as renewal pruning, cane pruning, and tree pruning please feel free to visit the following site:
www.aces.edu/Tallapoosa/landscape-gardening/Pruning-Outline.htm - 9k
To view a bloom time list of common shrubs and trees in Alabama landscapes please visit the following site:
www.aces.edu/dept/extcomm/specialty/feb28ggard04.html - 11k
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