The Q&A Archives: General Pruning

Question: I need to find information about pruning bushes. Basically, when and how.

Answer: Pruning shrubs is best done immediately after blooming. In general when pruning a shrub, you can cut out some of the main stems at the base to let light in, and cut out some of the twiggy tip growth. If your shrub is really overgrown, I would recommend the three year program. Cut back 1/3 of the old stems to the ground each year until all that is left is the new young growth that emerges from the base. Pruning in this fashion is much less of a shock to the shrub than doing all the pruning at once. You can recognize old stems by their rough, shaggy looking bark and thickness. New branches on the other hand are usually smooth, shiny, and thin. If you're new to pruning, there's a book with illistrations plus explanations of proper timing and techniques for all kinds of pruning jobs. It's called 'Pruning', by Christopher Brickell, published by Simon & Schuster, ISBN: 0-671-65841-7.

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