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The Complete Gardener's Guide,

Materials Needed

  • sharp pruners
  • pruning saw

Step 1: Prune Shrub

Once the blooms on early-flowering shrubs finish in early spring, begin pruning the shrub.

Step 2: Remove Damaged Wood

Using a sharp pair of pruners, begin by removing dead, diseased, and damaged wood, cutting back to healthy growth and stem joints.

Step 3: Reduce Stems

Cut out up to one-fifth of the oldest wood all over the plant, reducing stems to within 2–3 inches (5–8 cm) of the ground. It is easiest to do this with a pruning saw.

Step 4: Remove Weak Growth

Remove any weak or twiggy growth too, and cut out any crossing or straggling stems to create a well-balanced shrub with an open center.

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Shrubs that arrive a bit late to the blooming game should be trimmed in early spring. Follow these simple steps to inspire new blossoms.