Winter is Finest Time for Rejuvenation Pruning within the Mid-Atlantic

Whereas a light-weight hand is apropos for a lot of pruning jobs, typically a even handed however heavy hand is required. Rejuvenation pruning is a heavy-handed however environment friendly technique to carry missed, overgrown, and mismanaged shrubs again to their full potential. It’s carried out by eradicating each department at or a number of inches above floor degree with a sturdy hand noticed, loppers, or perhaps a small chainsaw. For a lot of shrubs in Mid-Atlantic gardens, winter is the right time to carry out rejuvenation pruning. It’s because in our zonal vary, most woody vegetation are dormant and due to this fact uncovered cuts are much less prone to turn into pathways for pests and illnesses (that are additionally dormant). And, when spring climate lastly arrives, the shrubs can be completely poised  to push new, wholesome progress.   

Rejuvenation pruning tames vigorous growers which have gotten out of hand 

A vigorous, wholesome shrub that has turn into overgrown, has misplaced its distinctive form or type, or has an extreme variety of useless stems from overcrowding would be the greatest candidate for rejuvenation pruning. This system can be a very good repair for shrubs that don’t flower or fruit to their full potential as a result of particular person stems are too weak or immature to supply viable flower buds. 

Bush honeysuckle being pruned back
Bush honeysuckles reply effectively to a heavy cutback.

Multistem shrubs that generate new progress from their root techniques or from the bases of stems are the most effective candidates for rejuvenation pruning.

Listed here are just some of the shrubs that can tolerate rejuvenation pruning: 


Please observe: If a shrub is in poor basic well being, is displaying indicators of stress from pests or illness, or if greater than half its shoots are useless, it could be too weak to recuperate from an entire cutback and might be killed reasonably than rejuvenated by this method.  


cutting back dogwoods in winter
Dogwoods and willows grown for his or her vibrant stem colours will profit from rejuvenation pruning each 3 to five years.

Pruning back dogwood
Eradicating drab older progress to make approach for a vivid new crop of stems.

Correct timing is essential 

When a shrub is reduce to the bottom, it should depend on reserves saved its roots to stimulate dormant or latent buds for regrowth. Subsequently, rejuvenation pruning is greatest carried out when the plant is totally dormant and most of its nutrient reserves from the previous rising season are saved in its root system. Within the Mid-Atlantic area, January to early March is the perfect time for a heavy cutback. Crimson-twig and yellow-twig dogwoods, that are glorious for vacation adorning, could also be pruned a bit earlier in winter. Dogwoods and willows grown for his or her vibrant stem colours will profit from rejuvenation pruning each 3 to five years to interchange drab older progress with a vivid new crop of stems.  

Tip: Convey reduce stems of flowering quince or forsythia indoors and place them in heat water to trick the dormant flower buds on outdated progress into producing a number of out-of-season blooms.  

yellow dogwood with new stems after cutting back
After a shrub has been reduce, you possibly can simply add natural mulch and an natural fertilizer to encourage new progress in spring.

Put up-pruning care will assist the shrub recuperate 

Aggressive pruning does trigger stress to the plant. After reducing a shrub again, you possibly can support the method of regrowth by mulching across the base of the plant with well-composted natural matter. Offering ample moisture and an applicable fertilizer may even maximize regrowth. Select fertilizers accredited for natural use or bio stimulants that assist general soil well being and support within the strategy of nutrient biking.  

Mustering the braveness to do that method might take slightly religion, but when rejuvenation pruning is completed in a considerate method you can be rewarded with a extra vibrant and engaging specimen in a number of brief rising seasons. 


Study extra about pruning

Upkeep Pruning

A enjoyable tackle simplifying the pruning course of 

For a complete assortment of pruning articles from the Superb Gardening archives, try this nice challenge information


—Adam Glas is a backyard supervisor and rosarian on the Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore Faculty in Swarthmore, Pennsylvania. 


All images: Adam Glas 





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