by Melinda Myers (see more tips from Melinda at https://www.melindamyers.com/)
Early spring is a great time to do a bit of pruning. Knowing what to prune and when will help you achieve the best results for the health of your plants and beauty in your landscape.
· Remove dead, damaged and rubbing stems and branches back to healthy growth. Prune just above an outward facing bud, branch or main stem and flush with the branch bark collar on trees.
· Check plants for and remove the swollen growths of black knot on plum and cherry trees and sunken discolored cankers on the stems of trees and shrubs. Prune 6 to 9” below the canker and disinfect tools between cuts.
· When pruning diseased material be sure to disinfect tools between cuts with a spray disinfectant or rubbing alcohol.
· Prune summer blooming Annabelle-type hydrangeas, potentillas and spireas to encourage compact sturdy growth. Cut all the stems back halfway and half of these back to ground level.
· Rejuvenate overgrown suckering shrubs by removing a third of the older and larger stems back to ground level. Reduce the overall height, if needed, by no more than a fourth. Repeat for the next few years.
· Prune fruit trees and fruiting vines to increase flowering and subsequent fruiting.
· Improve their appearance by removing faded flowers left on shrubs for winter interest. Be careful not to remove any flower buds already formed on spring flowering shrubs.
· Wait until after spring flowering shrubs bloom to prune if you want to maximize the floral display. Consider doing more severe pruning, when needed, in late winter or early spring when it is less stressful for the plant. Force the trimmings into flower and enjoy in a bouquet indoors.
· Make sure your tools are sharp, so the pruning cuts close quickly and use aquality bypass pruner, like the Corona® BP 6310. Through April 5, you can get it for only $29.88 + free shipping – a savings of 40% off the regular price.
Simply visit Corona’s website and use the code SAVE40MM to receive 40% off + free shipping! If you need help on how to get the 40% off + free shipping, visit https://www.coronatoolsusa.com/sas-help for instructions.
· Remember to keep yourself safe by wearing safety glasses and heavy-duty gloves. It’s too easy to focus on the task and end up with a stick in the eye or scratches and bruises. Consider synthetic leather gauntlet style gloves like Foxgloves extra protection gloves that protect hands and forearms from harm.
Stay safe and healthy!