The Q&A Archives: Pruning Shrubs

Question: Is it too chilly to prune azaleas and privot hedges? The azaleas only require a little shaping, but I want to cut the hedges about a foot. If it too cold, when is the best time, early spring before buds or late summer?

Answer: Fall is not a good time to prune because it may stimulate new growth which will not have time to "harden" sufficiently before winter. In addition, you will be removing next year's flower buds from spring flowering plants such as azaleas. Azaleas are better pruned in early spring (if you don't mind losing some blooms) or right after they flower. Privet can be pruned any time from early spring to late summer as needed.

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