The Q&A Archives: Pruning Redosier Dogwoods

Question: I planted 150 redosier dogwood shrubs five feet apart 3 years ago. The shrubs are getting spindly and when it is windy, portions of them blow over. Did I plant them too far apart? When can I prune them, and how?

Answer: Wow! It's a lot of work to plant that many shrubs! No, they aren't planted too far apart, but they don't sound like they're growing at their best. Annual pruning, in early spring before growth begins or right after the shrubs bloom, is recommended. Maintenance pruning consists of cutting 1/3 of the oldest stems right to the ground, but to "plump up" your planting, cut all the stems to within a few inches of the ground in late winter/early spring. Best of luck!

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