by Jessica DeMasio
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Getting outside to work in your garden or landscape may be the last thing on your mind when temperatures dip below freezing. It can be a great time to give your shrubs a much needed rejuvenation. Removing approximately 1/3 of the oldest wood from shrubs increases air circulation within the canopy of the plant and promotes a flush of young, new growth in the coming season.
Why promote new growth you may ask? How does increased flower production and more brilliant stem color sound?
Other shrubs just need a good airing out. Pests thrive in a humid environment. Thinning out shrubs by 1/3 will increase air circulation inside the canopy of the shrub-meaning less pests, and therefore less pesticides needed to keep your plants at their finest.
Have you ever wondered, “Where do I make a cut?” With no leaves to get in the way, following a branch inside a shrub has never been easier.
But why winter? Rejuvenation or renovation pruning removes a lot of material from a shrub. So much that if you were to remove this amount from a shrub while it is actively growing (it’s using those branches to feed itself), it would get stressed out. When you prune in the winter, the plant has ‘finished its meal’, energy has been stored in the roots. You can prune out 1/3 of the oldest wood, knowing that those branches have helped to charge the root system with lots of energy. The shrub can then use that energy in the next growing season to push out a flush of new growth with beautiful young stems full of color, vibrant leaves and tons of flowers for you to enjoy.
So bundle up, grab your pruners and saw, and get out into your garden to prune!
Blustery weather not your cup of tea? Give the pros a call.