Late Winter and Early Spring Pruning in the Landscape

Published: Thursday, March 27, 2014 at 09:21 AM.

There is one very important exception to these recommendations, pruning to remove cold-damaged limbs and branches.  For this, wait until after new growth starts in the spring.  If you do heavy pruning now to cut away serious damage to main branches and trunks, you end up losing more of the plant than you have to.  By waiting until new growth begins, you can tell how much of the plant has been killed and how much of it will recover from the cold.  Even the small branches which have obviously been killed should be left on the plant until spring.  They may be unsightly, but they can help protect the plant against further damage if we get more cold weather.  Use hand shears and loppers, not hedge clippers, for smaller branches.  Shears will crush and mangle larger branches instead of cutting them cleanly, so get a pruning saw for these.  Under cut large branches so they don’t tear away long sections of bark when they fall.  Make sure all cuts are smooth and flush with the remaining branch or trunk.  Jagged edges invite insect and disease problem.

For more information on growing pruning landscape plants contact the Gulf County Extension Service at 639-3200 or visit our website or www. and see Publication ENH 1190 & Publication ENH 971


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