Pruning trees and shrubs

Zone 72653 | Anonymous added on October 20, 2018 | Answered

When is the proper time to prune shrubs and trees? I live in northern Arkansas.

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    Answered on October 21, 2018

    Pruning time depends on when the shrub flowers. Spring blooming shrubs form flower buds in late summer and fall. Wait until after bloom is over to prune but get it done before July 4th. Summer bloomers produce flowers on new stems and should be pruned in late winter or very early spring. Fall pruning is controversial. It takes a plant about 6 weeks to prepare for winter dormancy. Pruning should cease 6 weeks before first frost because it sends a conflicting signal to the plant - grow! In late fall plants are sending carbs to plant roots to sustain them over winter. Pruning during this time disrupts the process. New growth, stimulated by late pruning, is likely to suffer winter dieback. Non-flowering shrubs can be pruned in winter or early spring. Trimming - the removal of stem tips like with hedges and boxwoods - can be done anytime in the growing season up until 6 weeks before frost is expected. These are general rules with some shrubs more detailed instruction. If you don't know the name of the shrub in question, post a picture.

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