The Q&A Archives: Cutting/Prunning Prickley Bush

Question: I have some prickley bushes in front of my home that originally were to the left and right of my main bay window. Over the last couple years, I've been pruning or shaping to keep in control but I wasn't paying attention that they were still growing to a point that they are obstructing my view out the window. My brother says hack down to a size that I want and they will be fine, he's a electrician.

Answer: Without knowing what the shrubs are I can only offer general pruning advice: when pruning, never remove more than one-third of the live material on a plant in any one pruning session. Removing more can cause the plant to become so stressed it will die. And, when you prune a plant back you will be exposing branches, stems and leaves to sunshine, which they have not experienced before. This can cause sunscald and dieback. If you need to remove more than one third of the plant to reduce its size, prune now and then wait until next spring to prune it down some more. Eventually you'll get it down to the right size. Best wishes with your shrubs.

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