Rejuvenation pruning tips for overgrown shrubs

Rejuvenation pruning tips for overgrown shrubs

The gentle winter days provide gardeners the chance to deal with duties which are finest executed when the panorama is dormant. One such process is rejuvenation or renewal pruning of shrubs. One of these work just isn’t for the timid as it’s fairly aggressive. The aim of this process is to take an overgrown or malformed plant and selectively take away a considerable quantity of its construction to encourage the renewal of wholesome development within the spring. Each pruning stimulates new development; rejuvenation pruning leads to strong development. When executed accurately, bushes can achieve new life and retain their pure form even when contracted. A wide range of species lend themselves to this method, and I’ve labored on many viburnums (viburnum spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9), lilacs (syringe spp. and cvs., Zones 3–8), faux orange bushes (philadelphus coronariusZones 4–8) and burning bushes (euonymus alatusZones 4–8).

Why Prune Throughout the Dormancy Season

Winter pruning is useful as most shrubs are naked or have diminished leaves, making the final construction of a shrub, in addition to any issues with development, simply seen. Every of those points wants consideration, with choices made on how finest to right the issue. This isn’t the time to fret about saving spring flower buds or whether or not a plant is blooming on new or outdated wooden. We should give attention to rejuvenating the bush and be ready for fewer flowers within the first season after this work.

Crossed branches will rub and create a wound in your bush. One among them must be eliminated.

To start with, search for these issues in your bush.

First, collect your instruments, which ought to include a great pair of hand pruners and at the very least a pair of shears, all of that are sharp. When you have very giant limbs, a pruning noticed could also be wanted. Take a step again and take a look at the general form and measurement of the bush. Take into account how the shrub seems in comparison with the species customary and the way that shrub suits into the house it’s rising in – primarily is that this plant performing the way in which you need it to? I name this the “huge image” evaluation. You must also search for any troublesome growths. That features:

  • Cross or rub branches
  • Deformed, distorted or misdirected branches
  • suckers
  • Lifeless or broken branches

If that is your shrub’s first rejuvenation pruning, you’ll absolutely discover that quite a lot of work must be executed.

Burkwood viburnum before rejuvenation pruning
Earlier than pruning, this Burkwood viburnum had a dense branching construction that encroached on close by boxwoods (boxwood cv., Zones 4–9).

Instance: Pruning an overgrown Burkwood viburnum

The Burkwood viburnum (viburnum × burkwoodii, Zones 4–8) in my backyard had overgrown the patio. I made positive to offer it a great clip to maintain it inside bounds after it blooms every spring, however that wasn’t sufficient and it was time for extra in depth work. I began the pruning course of slowly, bringing the perimeters the place branches encroach on a path or one other plant, pruning again to a bud within the path I would like the brand new development to go. (Cuts needs to be made at totally different ranges alongside the department in order that new development is staggered inside the bush.) Then skinny out teams of branches in order that extra air and lightweight attain the middle of the bush, encouraging inward development. and a wholesome atmosphere.

leaves stuck to the jacket
Be sure to do not put on a jacket or shirt with material that sticks to leaves or branches.

The branches rising again from the middle of the plant had been subsequent: I eliminated or minimize them to redirect them to the surface. Working with this semi-evergreen plant disturbed the leaves, which dropped and made the branches extra seen. (Put on a easy jacket or danger the leaves sticking to you.) I then reduce the brand new development to encourage branching and prune the outdated development to scale back top and power new development into decrease ranges.

Burkwood viburnum nearly finished pruning
As soon as the pruning course of is full, the shrub has a way more open behavior and can develop vigorously when spring begins.

After I lastly completed, there was loads of air and room to develop the place there had been a mass of twigs simply an hour earlier than. It might look like a brutal assault, however by midsummer this Burkwood viburnum shall be lush with new development on account of a day’s efforts. That method sacrificed quite a lot of the blooms this spring, however will probably be price it in seasons to come back. As I inform my shocked shoppers, I’ve executed this earlier than and the bushes all the time come again higher than they had been.

branch cut close-up
Chopping simply above dormant secondary buds will make them main buds within the spring.

For extra shrub pruning ideas, try nice gardeningpruning design information. And for extra Northern Plains regional experiences, click on right here.

—Marti Neely, FAPLD, owns and operates Marti Neely Design and Associates in Omaha, Nebraska.

Photographs: Marti Neely

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