This has been some winter. Good news is the snow is starting to melt. Some of the evergreens are starting to show signs of winter burn. The only thing you can do is watch and wait. If they are burnt severely it may stunt the growth. If they have been in a while they should grow out of it. Some plants are starting to break dormancy, bulbs are peeking their heads up, and the air is crisp and fresh.
It's the signal we're about to begin a new season.
Before it gets to warm, take a day to go out and look at your deciduous trees and shrubs to see if they need pruning. Ornamental trees, such as crabs will have suckers that need to be pruned off. I always prune the suckers off the crab tree in late winter.
Pruning is good to rejuvenate your plants. Any dead branches should be removed. I always cut back my spireas and weigelas because they seem to grow better and keep a nice shape. Pruning helps to create new growth.
If you have any limbs that need pruning now would be the time before the sap starts to flow. Make sure you cut as close to the main trunk as you can. Don’t leave a stem. Because if you do, the stem will rot and travel back into the tree.
Hedge trimmers are good for pruning shrubs. You can cut back spirea, weigela, potentilla, willow and shrub roses to about 12” high. Itea, (Sweet Spire) can also be pruned if needed, but usually it’s not necessary.
Remember though; don’t prune your lilacs now because you will be cutting off the eventual flowers. They need to be pruned only after flowering. You will sacrifice blooms if you prune too late.
These are just some basic pruning tips I’ve picked up along the way.