Evergreen Trees: Evergreen trees seldom need pruning. If you prune, wait until after the tree has completed substantial new growth, or you may end up having to prune it again-usually late spring or early summer.
Deciduous Trees: Deciduous trees also seldom need pruning. If pruning is needed to maintain shape, it should be done in mid to late winter while the tree is dormant.
Berry Bushes: Berry bushes are usually best pruned in late fall or early winter. Regular pruning to maintain shape can be done throughout the season, but is best done immediately after harvesting to minimize production loss.
Evergreen Shrubs: Evergreen shrubs don't flower, but some produce cones. Typically, it's best to prune evergreen shrubs between late winter and early spring-after they produce cones.
Deciduous Shrubs: Let the flowers guide you. It's best to prune shrubs back immediately after they flower (usually late spring or summer).
Rosebushes: Older shoots and those turned inward should be pruned by late winter-early spring at the latest. Cut remaining 4 to 8 canes to a length of 12 to 24 inches. Ideally, cuts should be made within an inch above a bud or strong shoot.
Deciduous: any perennial plant, tree, or shrub that loses all of its foliage for part of the year.
Evergreen: any tree, shrub, or plant that bears foliage throughout the year.
Formative Pruning: Formative pruning is a technique usually reserved for young plants, plants that have outgrown their space, or for plants remaining after another plant in close proximity has been removed (to prevent growth from looking lopsided). Essentially, it's pruning to train or correct shape.
Pruning for Rejuvenation: Occasionally, it's necessary to prune old shrubs to renew their vigor. Some shrubs responds well to hard pruning, while others are better rejuvenated over a period of 2 to 3 years. If your shrub has not been pruned regularly, go slowly and space pruning over several seasons. Select no more than 1/4 to 1/3 of the oldest wood in a single season. After pruning, feed plants and keep soil moist and well mulched. Generally, plants that grow more than 12 inches in a season usually respond well to hard pruning. Plants that grow more slowly (less than 12 inches per year) should be pruned more gently and only when necessary.
Pruning for Pests and Disease: Just like it sounds, this type of pruning is done in response to the outbreak of disease or pests.
About The Author: Ellen Brown is an environmental writer and photographer and the owner of Sustainable Media, an environmental media company that specializes in helping businesses and organizations promote eco-friendly products and services. Contact her on the web at http://www.sustainable-media.com
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I may have missed this but all spring flowering trees, as well as shrubs (which were mentioned) should be pruned right after the flowers fade or not at all. This includes Azaleas, Camellias, and others. Something that drives me crazy is crepe murder. It's utter foolishness to cut back a 30 foot tree to make it a shrub and those knuckles are hideous. If you want a small tree, buy one. Topping any tree isn't going to cause it to produce more flowers, but will certainly cause sucker growth, and shorten the life of the tree.
Just wanted to say thanks for the useful information! I have always been confused and intimidated by pruning, and your articles explain the process so clearly and simply!
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