When early spring arrives, one of the first landscape tasks will be pruning some of your plants. Pruning ornamentals really means “thinning” them: selectively cutting back individual limbs to a side branch or main trunk. What you probably don’t want to do is to “hedge” your plant, or cut all branches to the same length. This discourages full growth and creates plants that look like poodle tails. Thinning is good maintenance. It stimulates new growth, opens the plant to sun and air, and encourages a natural look. Some plants should be pruned before spring growth begins, such as camellia, crape myrtle, floribunda and grandiflora roses, and Rose of Sharon. Other plants should be pruned after they flower, such as azalea, clematis, dogwood, forsythia, redbud and wisteria.
Plants located correctly, with room for growth and proper light, may not need pruning at all, unless the plant is overgrown, diseased, or has crossed limbs. Happy pruning! A great pruning resource-and source of much of this article-is www.caes.uga.edu/publications/pubDetail.cfm?pk_id=6180.
Art of Stone landscaping professionals offer pruning and garden maintenance services in north Georgia.