The Q&A Archives: Pruning

Question: Could you tell me the proper time and how drastically to prune weigela, hazelnut and redbud? I live in central Arkansas.

Answer: Your weigela will bloom on last season's shoots, so wait until after it blooms, then cut back the part of the stem that has produced flowers. New shoots will develop, which will flower the following season. If you cut the plant way back this winter, you'll lose next summer's bloom.

Hazelnut, the shrub variety, usually grows 10'-15' tall, with equal width. You can prune back about one-third of the live material without compromising the health of your plant. Prune now or in early spring, just before new growth begins.

Redbud blooms in early spring. You can prune right after flowering to encourage new shoots. Cut back only about one-third of the plant in any one growing season and it will reward you with lots of healthy new growth. If you prune too drastically, you'll place the plant under stress. (Extreme renovation is best done in small steps, over a 2-3 year period.)

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