Spring Pruning

Early spring is a good time to prune many trees and shrubs because they are dormant.  Here is how:

Cut out dead, diseased and damaged wood.  When trees and shrubs are leafless, it is easier to see damage from last season.

Avoid spring-bloomers.  Do not prune shrubs like forsythia, azaleas, Texas Mountain Laurel or others that bloom in spring.  Wait until after they have bloomed.

Look for the dormant bud.  Make cuts just above a swelling bud, if visible.

Cut at a slant above a dormant bud.

Cut at a slant above a dormant bud.

Trim winter kill on twigs.  Many trees and shrubs suffer from die-back over the winter.  Prune twigs back to living wood.

Thin and rejuvenate fast-growing shrubs.  Cut out old wood right to the ground; leave younger branches to fill in.

Trim suckers.  Use pruners or lopers to cut off suckers that emerge from the trunks of trees.

Perennials need pruning too.  Shear ornamental grasses that were left up for winter interest.  On perennials, remove clumps of last year’s foliage, being careful not to disturb the crown.