Grow Your Own Magazine

Navbar button growfruitandveg.co.uk Logo
Forum Navigation

+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 5 of 5
Like Tree2Likes
  • 2 Post By Martin H

Thread: Hard pruning shrubs

  1. #1
    JT101 is offline Germinator
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Posts
    18

    Default Hard pruning shrubs

    Hi everyone

    Got some large shrubs to prune. They haven't been done in a while

    Problem I've always had in the past is that as soon as you go in a couple of inches, you're into brown twiggy branches with no foliage, and it looks terrrible, especially during the growing season.

    So my question is, how do you make large cuts without this effect. I'm guessing you can't, and the only option is to do it during winter time, and the spring growth will return to cover the stems.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Martin H's Avatar
    Martin H is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Hornchurch, Essex
    Posts
    4,805
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JT101 View Post
    So my question is, how do you make large cuts without this effect. I'm guessing you can't, and the only option is to do it during winter time, and the spring growth will return to cover the stems.
    For deciduous and semi-deciduous shrubs, this is generally right. Hard pruning in winter will stimulate lots of growth in the spring.

    Evergreen stuff is trickier. Some (like Rhododendrons and yews) don't care, chop them as hard as you like and they will sprout from old wood. Some (like lavendars and hebes) will probably die whenever you chop them... personally I cut everything down to size at a convenient time when I can see what I'm doing; if the plant dies I can always buy a smaller replacement!

    You could always try cutting half of the stems on each plant this winter, then next winter after it has regrown, cut the other half. Mostly I haven't got the patience.
    veggiechicken and Bill Door like this.
    My gardening blog: In Spades, last update 30th April 2018.
    Chrysanthemum notes page here.

  3. #3
    nickdub is offline Early Fruiter
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    Ross-on-Wye
    Posts
    2,164

    Default

    Depends on the type of shrub as well - some sorts will regrow if pruned almost down to the ground, others given this treatment will likely die off.

  4. #4
    Bill Door is offline Sprouter
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    249

    Default

    I agree with Martin H and his last comment. If you really don't like them now and don't do anything you won't like them in 12 months and you will probably have a lot more work to do. As my dad use to say "they have two chances". Best do it now and start saving your pennies for replacements next year. You never know you might be able to take your partner out for a very nice lunch and the shrubs will be ok.

    Bill

  5. #5
    DannyK is offline Tuber
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Riddlesdown (S of Croydon)
    Posts
    882

    Default

    Usually time to prune is after flowering. Doing it in winter could lead to loss of flowering shoots.

    When I first started I got an RHS book on pruning, which was really useful as it had remedial as well as routine. Still it's all on Youtube now.

    You also need to look at which ones need entire stems taken out to the ground. Biggest mistake is to give lot of shrubs like philadelphus a hair cut and trim.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts