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The most common mistake people make when pruning flowering shrubs is doing it at the wrong time. Pruning at the wrong time of the year won't usually hurt your plant, but pruning at the right time can help improve flower production.
Pruning is an ancient practice that dates back thousands of years. Perhaps the most ancient reference to pruning pertains to grapes, on which severe pruning was and still is practiced to increase fruit production.
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Published by: Colorado State University Cooperative Extension
As with many flowering shrubs the best time to prune a lilac is right after they finish flowering. This is a guide about pruning a lilac bush.
Correct pruning is an essential maintenance practice for trees and shrubs in the home landscape. However, most homeowners regard pruning with considerable, though unnecessary, apprehension.