Seasonal Pruning Guide

Seasonal Guide for Pruning Common Trees and Shrubs

January to March: Young or weak growing trees and shrubs, summer blooming shrubs such as roses, rose of Sharon, crape myrtle, and certain spiraeas.

April to May: Spring flowering trees and shrubs such as azaleas, camellias, daphne, forsythia, lilacs, rhododendrons, cherries, plums, deciduous magnolias, and crabapples, after they are finished blooming. Also, needle-leaf and broad-leaf evergreens can be pruned or sheared.

June to August: Overgrown or neglected deciduous flowering or fruit trees and shrubs, suckers and watersprouts, and faded flowers on summer blooming plants such as roses and spiraea. Also, needle-leaf and broad-leaf evergreens can be pruned or sheared.

September to October: Only necessary pruning to prevent limb breakage during winter weather.

November to December: Perennials and shrubs that die back over winter such as hydrangeas, and Confederate Rose hibiscus.

Dead or diseased wood should be pruned out immediately in any season. Sterilize pruning tools with bleach or disinfectant between every cut to prevent spreading the disease.

Prune in this order

  1. Remove all dead or diseased wood.
  2. Remove or cut back limbs that come out of the trunk at a narrow angle. These develop weak crotches which will break under a heavy load. The smaller ones can be bent outward and propped with a stick, so they develop a wide crotch.
  3. Remove a limb that comes out of the trunk a few inches directly above or below another branch. (Note. 2 and 3 don't all have to be done right way if they aren't crowding other branches.)
  4. Thin out watersprouts. If you remove all of them in the winter, you will get twice as many back. On the top of the tree where the limbs are exposed to the sun, leave one every two feet and cut off one fourth of their length.
  5. Remove dangling branches or cut them back to an outward growing branch.
  6. Remove branches that are crossing or crowded.

Steps 5 and 6 may not be needed if the branches are not crowded.

For more information on pruning contact Winn Parish County Agent Donny Moon at 318-628-4528.

4/3/2020 2:36:16 PM
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