This time of year our customers often ask if it is a good time to trim their shrubbery. After a fantastic growing season, many shrubs have “above normal” new growth and homeowners worry about their plants becoming too big. Although this is true, there is really little additional growth after the middle of July (most plants will stay the same size until next spring’s growth flush). When shrubs are pruned, new growth is stimulated. By pruning shrubs in middle and late summer, we take the risk of this new growth not being hardened off and ready for fall frost. If this happens, many shrubs will be damaged and will turn black after the first killing frost.
Remember these rules of thumb: Flowering shrubs should always be pruned after flowering has ceased for the year. Ideally, evergreens should be pruned just as they enter their growth flush in the spring. It never hurts to “pinch” shrubs to encourage the more desirable shape.