D eciduous shrubs lose their leaves each fall and don't look that attractive during the winter. In addition, many naturally grow larger and more rapidly than the desired height where planted. In keeping them pruned to the appropriate height, many shrubs will get twiggy and ugly. To correct this, we have adopted rejuvenation pruning to bring them back into size. This can be achieved by thinning pruning, but sometimes they may need to be cut down to the ground and allowed to regrow at a shorter height and with a more natural appearance. The problem is that when we make the cutback, it may look like we killed the plants. However, don't worry as they always grow back and look much better throughout the season. This will occur annually on some shrubs and every 2-3 years on others.
Again, this may appear drastic but in our experience over the past few years of implementing this philosophy in our winter deciduous pruning practices, we are seeing healthier and more natural looking shrubs maintained at their desired height in the landscape. The most common deciduous plants we will be performing this practice on annually are: Barberry, Abelia, Spirea, and Dogwood. Every 2-3 years: Willow, Hydrangea, Euonymus, and Forsythia.
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