How & when to prune a shrubs? - Knowledgebase Question

Charles Town, WV
Question by stephanie969
August 18, 2007
I purchased a spindly dogwood shrub (cornus mas) recently. I would like to know the best way to prune so as to encourage it to fill out a bit. Thanks!

Answer from NGA
August 18, 2007


Cornus mas is a small tree, growing very slowly to about 20 feet with a nice, fairly regular natural shape. I would be very cautious about pruning it. Young trees often look gangly until they begin to mature. Here is a photo of a young Cornus mas, for example.

For more information about Cornus mas, see

If you eventually need to prune it, you could do so in late winter (temperature should be over 40 degrees) or in the spring right after it blooms.

Enjoy your new tree!

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