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When to Prune

Deciduous Trees

Name Time of Pruning
Ash Anytime (early spring before leafing out is ideal)
Birch & Ironwood To prevent bleeding, prune after fully leafed out
Canada Red Cherry, Chokecherry and Hawthorns For optimum flowering and fruiting, prune after flowering; otherwise prune before leafing
Cottonwoods, Poplars, Aspen and Willows Anytime (early spring before leafing out is ideal)
Elm To prevent bleeding, prune after fully leafed out
Flowering Crabs, Mountain Ash and Ornamental Pears Before tree leafs out in spring
Hackberry Anytime (early spring before leafing out is ideal)
Honeylocust To prevent bleeding, prune after fully leafed out (dry periods in summer is best)
Linden Anytime (early spring before leafing out is ideal)
Maples including Boxelder To prevent bleeding, prune after fully leafed out
Oaks Anytime (early spring before leafing out is ideal) January, February (if Oak Wilt is a concern)
Ohio Buckeye Anytime (early spring before leafing out is ideal)
Russian Olive Early spring before leafing out
Tree Lilac For optimum flowering, prune after flowering; otherwise prune before leafing out
Walnut & Butternut To prevent bleeding, prune after fully leafed out

Deciduous Shrubs

Name Time of Pruning
Azalea Prune as little as possible; early spring before new growth
Japanese Barberry Early spring before new growth; during season for hedge
Buckthorn Early spring before new growth
Caraganas (Peashrubs) After flowering; early spring if cutting back severly
Cotoneaster Early spring before new growth; during growing season for hedge (fireblight can be a serious problem)
Alpine Currant Early spring; during growing season for hedge
Dogwoods Early spring; during season for hedge
Euonymus (Burning Bush) Early spring before new growth
Forsythia After flowering
Honeysuckles (Large) After flowering; early spring if cutting back severely
Honeysuckles (Miniglobe etc) Early spring before new growth
Hydrangea Early spring before new growth
Lilac After flowering; early spring if cutting back severely
Mockoranges After flowering; early spring if cutting back severely
Golden Mockorange Early spring; during growing season
Ninebark Early spring; during growing season for formal hedge
Flowering Plum After flowering; early spring if cutting back severely
Potentilla Early Spring before new growth
Purpleleaf Sandcherry Early spring before new growth
Shrub Roses Early spring before new growth
Low Growing Spireas Early spring before new growth
Large White Flowering Spireas After flowering; early spring if cutting back severely
Sumac Early spring before new growth
Viburnums (Cranberry, Arrowwood   Nannyberry & Wayfaring Tree) After flowering or early spring before new growth
Weigela Early Spring before new growth

* To Rejuvenate, cut shrubs back in early spring before leafing out

Evergreens

Name Time of Pruning
Arborvitae,Junipers & Yews Late spring to late summer (not after August 15th)
Pine After new growth has elongated but before it forms a new bud is best time.
Spruce Just before buds open or just after new growth is fully extended is the best time

* When pruning evergreens never remove all the green foliage from a stem or branch.


Todd Weinmann, Extension Horticulturist & Master Gardener Coordinator
Phone: (701) 241-5707
E-mail: todd.weinmann@ndsu.edu

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