Rhodos with walkway-2013

I find this time of year to be one where it is easy to get pruner-happy. While most things can survive a poorly timed pruning, there are a few that will make you skip a year of beauty if you cut at the wrong time.

What can be cut now?

  • old perennial growth
  • dry branches and leaves
  • old grass growth
  • some fruit trees, vines–depending on whether they bloom on year old wood
  • old flower heads

What to avoid cutting now?

  • Rhododendrons and azaleas: the buds were set in the fall and should only be pruned immediately after the bloom
  • Forsythia — wait until done blooming
  • Hydrangea macrophylla (mop head hydrangea) — except to remove old flowers. Wait until new growth comes on before pruning out dead

If in doubt, wait.

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