Burn off a few calories and reinvigorate your landscape with a bit of late winter pruning. It’s a good time to prune summer flowering shrubs like Japanese spirea, potentilla and Annabelle hydrangeas that need some taming. It is also the best time to rejuvenate overgrown and neglected spring flowering shrubs like lilacs and forsythia. You’ll sacrifice a few of their blossoms this spring, but greatly improve their overall health and beauty.
Consider gradual renewal pruning for suckering shrubs like forsythia, lilac and red twig dogwood that continually produce new stems. Remove any dead and damaged branches and a few of the older, thicker, stems to ground level.
Repeat yearly on overgrown plants for three or four years. By the end of this period you will have a smaller plant with leaves from top to bottom.
A bit more information: Save a few stems pruned from spring flowering shrubs. Cut to a manageable size and bring indoors to force into bloom. For more pruning techniques, click here.