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A Guide to Successful Pruning

 
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Shrub Pruning Calendar

Use the following table to determine the right time to prune your shrubs in the greater Kansas City area.

Legend:

*

= Best time to prune
x = Do not prune except to correct damage, hazards, or structural defects

Shrub Pruning Calendar

Plant

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Notes

Abelia

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1,4

Almond, Flowering

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Arborvitae

X

X

X

*

*

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

6,7

Azalea, Deciduous

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2

Azalea, Evergreen

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2

Barberry

X

*

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Beautybush Kolkwitzia

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Boxwood

X

X

X

*

*

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

5,6

Butterfly Bush

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1,4

Clethra

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

Cotoneaster

X

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Crape Myrtle

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1,4,7

Deutzia

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Dogwood, Redtwig

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1,4

Elder

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Euonymus

X

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

 

Forsythia

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Fothergilla

X

X

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2

Holly, Deciduous

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

Holly, Evergreen

X

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Honeysuckle

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Hydrangea, Spring Blooming

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X,

2,4

Hydrangea, Summer Blooming

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

Hypericum, St. Johnswort

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

Itea

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

Juniper

X

X

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

5,6

Kerria

X

X

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Lilac

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Mahonia

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4,7

Mockorange

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Nandina

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1,7

Pine, Mugo

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

6,8

Privet, Ligustrum

X

X

X

X

*

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

2,4,5

Potentilla

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1,4

Prunus, Plum & Cherry

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

 

Pyracantha

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,

Quince

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Rhodendron

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,7

Rose

X

X

*

*

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

1,3,4

Rose of Sharon

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

Serviceberry

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2

Smoke Tree

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1

Spirea, Spring Blooming

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Spirea, Summer Blooming

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

1,4

Sweetshrub Carolina Allspice

X

X

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

1,4

Spruce

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

6,7,8

Viburnum

X

X

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Weigela

X

X

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Willow, Pussy

X

X

X

X

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2,4

Witchhazel

X

X

X

*

*

*

X

X

X

X

X

X

2

Yew

X

X

X

*

*

*

*

*

*

X

X

X

5,7

Notes:

    1. Flowers are produced on new (current season's) wood
    2. Flowers are produced on wood from past season, pruning while dormant will reduce flowers
    3. Make pruning cuts well below diseased wood and disinfect shears between cuts
    4. Remove selected old stems to the ground yearly to renew
    5. Midseason shear if a formal hedge is desired
    6. Do not cut into old wood that has no leaves or needles
    7. Fall/early winter pruning can reduce winter hardiness
    8. Snap candles (new growth) in half when needles are to 2/3 their normal length

Originally published as Virginia Tech Publication 430-462, 1998 authored by Bonnie Lee Appleton, Extension Nursery Specialist and Susan C. French, Research Specialist.  Revised for Kansas and Kansas City area conditions by Dennis Patton, Johnson County K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Agent, February 2001.


 

 

 

 
 

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