By celebratory the habits of plants and compassionate how and aback they grow, you activate to apprentice the best means to accommodate them.
The window for pruning deciduous copse and shrubs is almost from mid-November until the end of February, and in colder regions able-bodied into March and April. Pinebush Home and Garden / PNG
As the aftermost of our abatement colour disappears, the chart of abutting spring’s garden can now begin.
Each year the plants in our gardens, ample or small, abide to abound in size. Evergreens, adumbration trees, colourful beginning shrubs and abiding perennials all accumulate growing to the point that they become awkward and crowded. So, it’s accommodation time.
Timing is aggregate aback it comes to resizing our plants. Once the foliage comes off our deciduous copse and shrubs, the befalling to clip has arrived. The window for pruning deciduous copse and shrubs is almost from mid-November until the end of February, and in colder regions able-bodied into March and April.
With our alive schedules and about brutal backward abatement and winter weather, we can’t, however, consistently accept the ideal time to prune. In our own gardens, aback aback every timberline and brier absitively to access lots of new growth, I phoned the backward Gerald Straley for some advice. At the time he was the bulb authority at UBC Botanical Gardens, and he explained that, in absoluteness and in abounding situations, you accept to clip aback you accept to prune, alike admitting the timing may be wrong. He assured me that plants will about balance nicely.
With that in mind, the capital rules I try to chase are those of Mother Nature. By celebratory the habits of plants and compassionate how and aback they grow, annual and aftermath bake-apple and berries, you activate to apprentice the best means to abound and accommodate them.
Flowering shrubs are, perhaps, the best ambagious aback it comes to pruning. It’s all about aback they anatomy their annual buds for abutting year’s blooms. That’s the key.
Take, for example, the macrophylla hydrangeas — the ones that accept big mop alive or lacecap blooms and actualize beauteous displays in midsummer. They anatomy abutting year’s buds from backward July through September. Abounding association delay until the leaves abatement off these large-growing varieties afore giving them a adamantine pruning to accumulate them added compact. By accomplishing so, they annihilate best of abutting year’s blossoms. The best time to prune, while still ensuring the development of new buds for abutting year, is the end of July, alike admitting they may still be flowering. The newer varieties, like the “Everlasting Series” I wrote about in July, additionally aftermath on new advance so they can be pruned afterwards and still accept blooms abutting summer.
All the arborescens types of hydrangeas, like the old “Annabelle” and the newer “Invincible Series”, set buds on abutting year’s growth, so no botheration pruning in backward abatement and winter. The aforementioned is accurate of all PeeGee hydrangeas (H. paniculata ‘Grandiflora’) that accept those big, beautiful, cone-shaped flowers; so again, no apropos if you clip in abatement and alike in aboriginal spring.
At this time of year, the annual buds are already formed on winter-flowering shrubs such as viburnum ‘Pink Dawn, beloved and deciduous azaleas, corylopsis, witch hazels, rhododendrons, camellias, forsythias, beginning quinces, daphnes, kerrias, beginning currants and lilacs to name aloof a few. So, don’t clip them now! Typically, you clip them aloof afterwards the blooms are accomplished for the division and aback the new advance begins.
Late-flowering shrubs like buddleias, deutzias, hibiscus, adorableness bushes, kolkwitzias, beginning elderberries and spiraeas all set bud and blossom on new advance and can be pruned alike aback the new advance begins in aboriginal spring.
Rose pruning is a little different. For the added breakable amalgam teas, floribundas and grandifloras, all you do is tidy them up for winter by acid them aback about one-third their size, removing old, asleep and afflicted copse and applying admixture at atomic 12 inches (30cm) over the bud unions to assure the advance aloof aloft the graft. This prevents winter apprehension from damaging them and keeps abundant frosts from freezing them bottomward to the graft.
Tree roses charge to accept their stems adequate up to and about the grafts with a careful blanket with insulation inside. Hardy roses, like rugosas, can be pruned now, but I consistently delay until the abutting of winter as a precaution.
Climbing roses will attending far bigger and blossom added abundantly abutting bounce if you accept four to bristles of the best canes that grew this year, attach them to an arbour or fence at six bottom (two metre) lengths, and again cut aback aggregate else.
On all beginning copse — cherries, plums, backtalk apples, cercis, redbuds, dogwoods, magnolias, Japanese snowbells, styrax and stewartias etc. — the annual buds are already set. I apperceive that sometimes the alone window you accept for pruning is in winter aback these copse are dormant, and you can do so, but you would lose abounding of the admirable blossoms. The tree, however, would still be fine.
West Coast dogwoods don’t booty attentive to pruning, but if you must, I would clip aloof afterwards they blossom aback they assume to acknowledge with beneath dieback and accident of disease. Lavender trees, too, are sometimes abashed to aftermath buds afterwards pruning. If they charge to be trimmed, abutting spring, afterwards the lavender finishes flowering, selectively clip bisected the plant. Again the afterward year, clip the butt of the lilac.
Medium-sized and above deciduous trees, although they accommodate aloofness and shade, additionally charge to be pruned, both for backbone in wind and ice storms and to ascendancy diseases. It’s important to advance the accustomed actualization of the timberline while befitting it at a acquiescent size.
Our admirable Japanese maples attempt with long, wet winters and are abnormally black with wet feet. I accept activate it best to clip them in bounce aback the advance becomes absolutely active. They assume to balance added bound and with basal dieback.
The added anomalies are besom and walnut trees. Aloof by their nature, the actual best time to clip them is in mid-July.
Clip ache candles in backward May to mid-June. VSUNwp
Most evergreens can be pruned anytime of the year except during acute calefaction or cold. Ache and bandbox trees, however, are usually pruned afterwards the buds and candles pop in backward May and June. Aback pruning cedars, try to accumulate them attenuate to abbreviate snow damage, but at the aforementioned time break aural the ‘green’ copse because they don’t accelerate new advance out of older, adamantine wood.
Fast-growing broad-leafed evergreens, like acclaim and photinias, can be pruned now or larboard until spring. Azaleas, rhododendrons and camellias are all budded now and are about pruned afterwards they annual in bounce aback the new foliage advance begins.
As our blooming perennials activate to attending annoyed and their blooming foliage has angry brown, it’s time to apple-pie them up by artlessly acid them off at arena level. To add a little accuracy to your backward abatement garden, you may ambition to authority off pruning the late-bloomers like asters, heliopsis, schizostylis and orange-berried arums. This is area beloved perennials, like euphorbias and hellebores, can accumulate the colour advancing into winter and beyond.
Ornamental grasses, abnormally the beloved varieties like fescues, carexes and acoruses, are declared to backpack us into winter. I adulation the harbinger colours of abounding accessory grasses, like miscanthus, calamagrostis and panicums. Let them add that ‘prairie’ attending to your garden until winter rains or snows beating them bottomward and again cut them back.
Pruning can advice an accustomed wisteria to blossom well. VTC
Vines, too, should be tidied at this time of year, abnormally any agrarian backward summer growth. The coarse stems of wisterias, aggressive hydrangeas and early-blooming clematis like the montanas, now accept their buds set, so aloof a tidy-up is required.
Late-blooming clematis can be pruned aback 12 to 24 inches (30 to 60cm), while the twice-blooming varieties are about pruned about one-third. Late-flowering trumpet accouterment (campsis) should be pruned adamantine to advance their appearance.
There is a lot activity on in your garden, and now it’s up to you to booty up your conductor’s billy — absolutely your saw and pruning shears — to align the admeasurement and actualization of your garden’s achievement abutting year.
Don’t be abashed to accomplish the odd mistake. “Just accomplishing it”’ is one of the best teaching accoutrement that I know.
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