Spring Pruning Tips for Arkansas!
Spring pruning is done for several purposes, such as to shape, encourage new growth, and clean up. Not all plants require pruning so ask questions and have a game plan before getting the tools out. Keep the goal in mind when pruning; it’s easy to get carried away! A good rule of thumb is to remove no more than 30% of the plant when pruning…more than that can stress the plant, causing a decline in health and an increase in pests.
Knowing what to prune and when is crucial. Prune ornamental grasses, crepe myrtles, most roses, fruit trees and evergreen perennials in February. Evergreen shrubs and groundcovers can be pruned in March. Wait to prune spring flowering shrubs such as azaleas and forsythia until after they bloom…otherwise the blooms will be removed. Visit our gardening calendar for more complete schedule!
As mentioned above, it can be easy to remove too large a portion of the plant. Crape myrtles are often pruned too much and poorly…this practice is called ‘crape murder’. These trees don’t require any pruning but are often cut back severely, causing large unattractive ‘knees’ or knots to form. Learn how to properly prune crape myrtles by on this post and You Tube channel. Also, check out How to Control Crape Myrtle Bark Scale, a very destructive pest.
Hand pruners, shearers, loppers, chain saws…just what is needed for proper pruning? Felco hand pruners will work on most shrubs, grasses and perennials. Use loppers on larger limbs and branches. Before pruning, check tool blades and sharpen as needed. And for more in-depth information, come see us!