Garden Tip: It’s time to prune in June

Timing is the key to pruning for healthier trees and shrubs.  |  Submitted by The Growing Place
Timing is the key to pruning for healthier trees and shrubs. | Submitted by The Growing Place

We love our early spring blooming flowering shrubs for their fragrance and color. This includes forsythia, azaleas, spirea, flowering crab apple, fragrant viburnum, fothergilla, lilac and redbud. But when is the best time to prune these beauties?

The answer is, now. Timing is everything.

Spring flowering shrubs usually set their buds in the summer for next year. Make sure to prune within about two weeks after the conclusion of flowering for best results. Thinning out a shrub encourages healthy air circulation and invigorates them. You also can prune evergreens if you need to control their size or wish to shape them.

Here are five plant pruning essentials:

Prune only if plants need it — not all shrubs need to be pruned each year.

Use sharp, clean hand-pruning shears.

Give priority to removing dead, crossing or diseased branches.

Trim at a branching point or just above an active bud at a 45-degree angle — don’t leave stubs.

You know you’ve done a good job if the plants don’t look pruned when you’re finished.

Don’t panic if, during the summer, you need to trim a few stray branches. When you’re finished pruning your early spring flowering shrubs, you can enjoy the rest of your summer knowing that you’re going to be treated to beautiful, healthy and prolifically blooming shrubs next spring.

Garden Tip is courtesy of The Growing Place, 630-355-4000.

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