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Pruning Specific Plants

There are several reasons why gardeners should prune trees and shrubs. Pruning should be done to promote health and growth by removing dead or dying branches injured by disease, insect infestation, storms or other damage.  The following will describe how to prune specific shrubs.

 Garland Spirea
    (Spirea x arguta)

 Immediately after flowering    
 Remove 1/3 to 1/2 top growth annually

Cut back 1/3 older stems to ground annually

Remove dead/diseased/damaged
 Improve flowering

Maintain plant size/shape

Encourage new shoots from crown
 Ideally hand secateurs are used

Disinfect tools between cuts if disease is present

Common Heather (Calluna vulgaris)

 Immediately after flowering Remove spent flowers by cutting from branch tips to green foliage

Remove dead/damaged/ diseased branches
 Maintain plant health

Maintain shape, improve flowering
 Hard pruning can seriously wound or kill a plant
 Rododendron catawbiense

After spring flowering or late winter when plant is dormant

Remove dead / damaged/ diseased branches by cutting back to healthy wood above an outward facing bud

Remove spent flower heads by cutting back to 1.5 cm above new growth

To thin or shape:  cut back branch to just above the last whorl of leaves to be kept

To rejuvenate:  remove most branches by cutting back each primary branch at different heights just above a bud or cluster of buds (pink dots on the bark of older branches)

More severe rejuvenation requires all branches to be cut back to within 15 cm of the ground 

 Increase blooms for following year

Shape plant, promote bushier growth 

Rejuvenation pruning:  to restore plants that are overgrown, leggy and unattractive, promote new growth from the crown (this should be done late winter; will not flower same year as pruned)

 Use pruning secateurs

No flowering in the year of rejuvenation but new growth and flower development will enhance overall appearance in subsequent years