The Q&A Archives: Pruning Privets

Question: We've had an early frost and snowfall already. The bushes are very large and need trimming so they don't get damaged over the winter. Is it too late to do the trimming now? Nicer weather (60's) is predicted for the area.

Answer: Your privets have probably been exposed to enough cold weather to put them into the resting phase, so you can go ahead and prune now to ward off winter storm damage. If you can't prune trees and shrubs early in the season, tt's generally best to prune in the winter, when they're dormant. Pruning usually encourages new growth, which is quite susceptible to freezing temperatures. Since the privets have already experienced a period of cold, they probably won't try to grow - but if you have a choice next time, opt for pruning early in the season, or waiting until mid-winter.

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