To Prune Or Not To Prune – That Is The Question


Here we are in the middle of October. The air has cooled down. Leaves are changing color and falling. It’s a beautiful sight! I love fall.

When it comes to pruning, we need to control our eagerness with our pruners and loppers. There is something about fall that gets people to want to prune. The major reason not to prune is that pruning now can stimulate new growth just when plants are trying to go dormant and this can weaken the plant. And, it gets the sap flowing, and if we have a cold, frosty night, then this will kill the tips of the plant.

Each year I hand out hundreds of copies of the GUIDE TO SUCCESSFUL PRUNING, SHRUB PRUNING CALENDAR that was created by Virginia Tech, Virginia State University, and Virginia Cooperative Extension. Yes, this handout was produced back in 1998, but all this information is still very relevant and accurate. So, you will find this handout with this blog.

Look it over. You will see that there is not one shrub or tree that should be pruned in October.

I want to share with you a growing ( pardon this pun ) gardening trend. The trend is not to prune at all but to allow your plants to grow naturally without any alterations. If you consider the growing dimensions of the plants and plant accordingly to allow these dimensions not to interfere with the house, property line, etc. then let your plants do their natural thing and let them give you their natural beauty – unaltered.

So, here is your copy of the pruning guide. You can also download your own copy of the guide at the Virginia Cooperative Extension’s website.

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