Knowing when and how to prune trees and shrubs is often confusing for many gardeners. The following should help you get going.
|Plant||When||How to prune||Tools to use|
|AZALEA||Late Winter/Early Spring|| To reinvigorate old plants, fertilize well.
Remove damaged or overgrown branches.
|Bypass and anvil pruners, loppers|
|Late Spring / Early Summer||After blooming, prune for shape.||Bypass and anvil pruners, loppers|
|BARBERRY||Late Winter/Early Spring||After flowering, restore shape by pruning lightly.||Bypass pruner, loppers|
|DEUTZIA||Late Spring / Early Summer||Once blooming has stopped, prune lightly to remove a older branches and dead twigs||Bypass and anvil pruners|
|DOGWOOD||Late Spring / Early Summer||Flowering: After flowering, remove dead wood only.
Other: Prune dead wood only to preserve natural beauty.
|Bypass and anvil pruners, loppers|
|FIR||Late Fall/Winter||Use sharp tools to remove diseased or injured branches during very cold weather only.||Loppers, pole tree trimmer, pruning saw|
|FORSYTHIA||Late Spring / Early Summer||After flowering, remove a few older branches. For old, neglected plants, cut back entire plant to about one foot, leave three to five canes. (Plant may be poisonous).||Bypass and anvil pruners|
|HOLLY||Summer||Prune any time of the year to restore shape.||Anvil pruner, loppers|
|HONEYSUCKLE||Late Spring / Early Summer||Cut some of the oldest wood to the ground every four to five years. Pinch shoots to encourage branching. (Plant may be poisonous).||Bypass and anvil pruners|
|Late Fall / Winter||Remove gnarled and diseased old wood. (Plant can be poisonous).||Bypass and anvil pruners|
|HYDRANGEA||Late Winter/Early Spring||Prune Hills-of-Snow variety back to the ground. For other varieties, remove weak and dead growth and cut flowering stems back to two buds.||Bypass and anvil pruners, loppers|
|LILAC||Late Spring/Early Summer||Prune after blooming is completed. Remove all spent blooms to encourage next year´s growth. If you prune too late, you may remove next year´s blossoms.||Bypass and anvil pruners, loppers|
|Maple, Japanese||Late Fall/Winter||When pruned, it bleeds. Prune or pinch back in fall or winter to minimize sap loss and to see shape of tree. Leaf prune in summer of alternate years to encourage smaller leaf development.||Japanese pruners for fine work, bypass pruners, pruning saw|
|MOCK ORANGE||Late Fall / Winter||Remove a few of the oldest canes every three to four years.||Anvil pruner, loppers, pole tree trimmer|
|MOUNTAIN LAUREL||Late Spring / Early Summer||Prune lightly. Pinch off clusters of spent blossoms. Remove a few old branches at the ground to induce new growth from roots.||Bypass pruner, loppers|
|MULBERRY||When dormant from November to February, or during the summer||Prune lightly to remove dead wood. Some experts advocate pruning in the summer when thinning for ambient light. Weeps sap.||Loppers, bow saw, pruning saw|
|PEONY||Late Fall / Winter||(Herbaceous) Cut to the ground as leaves mature and look dry.||Bypass pruner|
|PINE/SPRUCE||Late Spring / Early Summer||Cut back candles on side of branches of young trees to one half or less after needles have expanded but before hardening.||Anvil pruner, loppers, bow saw, pruning saw|
|PRIVET||Late Spring / Early Summer||In April, cut back hard to rejuvenate old plants. (Plant may be poisonous).||Anvil pruner, hedge shear, loppers|
|Summer||Starting in June, trim to shape three times at six week intervals. (Plant can be poisonous).||Anvil pruner, hedge shear, loppers|
|RHODODENDRON||Late Spring / Early Summer||Same as Mountain Laurel.||Bypass and anvil pruners, loppers|
More info on roses
|Late Winter/Early Spring||(Hybrid, Tea and Perpetual) After frosts, cut away dead and weak growth and shorten remaining canes to four or five buds.||Bypass pruner, loppers|
|Late Spring / Early Summer||(Climbing) After flowering, prune half of the old growth at the ground. Keep new shoots for the next year´s flowers.||Bypass pruner, loppers|
|Summer||Prune lightly to shorten shoots only. Remove faded flowers (except for species roses).||Bypass pruner, loppers|
|Late Fall/Winter||(Tea and Hybrid) Lightly prune to prevent wind whipping and storm damage.||Bypass pruner, loppers|
|SNOWBERRY||Late Winter/Early Spring||Cut out old twiggy canes. Cut back last season´s growth of remaining parts to three buds.||Bypass and anvil pruners|
|YEW||Summer||Trim to maintain shape. (Plant can be poisonous).||Anvil pruner, hedge shear, loppers, pruning saw|