When to Prune in Leelanau?
When to prune your landscape plants can be a confusing and overwhelming subject. I am writing this post in late winter because late winter happens to be the best time of the year to do major cut backs on your trees and shrubs. Generally, trees and shrubs will store their energy in the roots to protect themselves through the winter, if we prune in late winter it will not damage a healthy plant and major cuts can be done. Keep in mind that flower trees and shrubs should not pruned at this time because flowering branches may be cut off. Flowering trees and shrubs should be pruned after peak flowering.
Major cut backs can be done on deciduous plants (that lose their leaves) but be careful with conifers. Cutting back conifer branches and leaving no green will kill the branch.
Early spring is also a great time to clean-up the remaining perennials in your garden including last year’s brown ornamental grasses, old Hosta leaves, and spent Daylillies. Cleaning your perennial garden allows for the new growth of spring to come in without competition.
Remember NOT to heavily prune recently transplanted plants in your landscape. If you have a tree that has been recently transplanted the tree needs to first grow roots and to do so it will need the strong buds on the outer-canopy intact for the first 2 years or so. Pruning a recently transplanted tree to early may cause the tree to die.