Rick Longnecker

Most trees and shrubs benefit from annual pruning. It keeps them in shape, gets rid of dead and diseased wood and encourages new growth. But not all trees and shrubs should be pruned early, especially some of the flowering ones, which may be about to blossom.

When is the proper time to prune flowering trees and shrubs? Part of the answer depends on whether the time of flowering is in the early spring or later in the season.

As a general rule of thumb, prune flowering trees and shrubs immediately after flowering. Early spring bloomers such as dogwood, forsythia, flowering crabapple and cherry, magnolia and azalea should be pruned immediately after flowering in late spring or early summer.

In general, trees and shrubs such as crape myrtle, Bradford pear, knock out roses, spirea, and some varieties of hydrangea that flower after the end of June should be pruned in late winter to early spring when they are dormant.

If you’re not sure about pruning or have trees on your property bigger than you can handle, call in an expert.

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