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March 13,

Deciduous trees and shrubs. In winter, deciduous plants shed leaves and send food reserves to their roots.

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If you prune in winter or spring they then have ample resources to regrow and balance their roots with their top growth. If you prune in summer then you are removing food reserves in the green leaves. Prune deciduous shrubs to maintain natural habit of growth; remove dead, diseased or broken branches; promote flower and fruit development; and encourage vigorous growth of plants. With most shrubs, the ideal time to prune is during the dormant season, before new growth begins.

Prune these shrubs in late winter or early spring before growth begins.

Spring flowering shrubs, such as forsythia and lilac, should be. Deciduous Shrubs. The proper time to prune deciduous shrubs is determined by the plant's growth habit, bloom time, and health or condition. Spring-flowering shrubs, such as lilac and forsythia, bloom in spring on the growth of the previous season.

The plant's health or condition determines the best time to prune spring-flowering shrubs. Pruning promotes compact growth and should develop the natural shape of the plant. Ideally, shrubs are spaced so the branches of mature plants intermingle slightly with each other. Slow growers and dwarf shrubs may need little pruning.

However, most deciduous shrubs are very vigorous and few remain under three feet. Pruning Deciduous Shrubs by John Ball, associate professor of forestry, and David Graper, horticulture extension specialist, Horticulture, Forestry, Landscape and Parks Department ExEx September Horticulture/Forestry Figure 1.

An example of a thinning cut. The cut is made at the point.