Shrubs must be pruned regularly for optimum health and plant quality as a result of their continual growth. In addition to fostering a regular bloom cycle for flowering shrubs, you can control their shape and growth by pruning them regularly. However, if not pruned regularly, shrubbery can become overgrown and difficult to maintain. This scenario is when rejuvenation pruning is required.
What is Rejuvenation Pruning?
Rejuvenation pruning is done by removing larger branches and extremities from shrubs so that new growth can occur, thus making the plants easier to maintain with regular pruning techniques. There are a variety of rejuvenation pruning methods that can be taken into consideration. The style of pruning you select should ultimately depend on the choice of ornamental tree or shrub that’s in need of rejuvenation.
You can rejuvenate shrubs gradually by pruning about one third of the largest and most unruly stems in late winter or early spring. Naturally, this timing can vary depending on your climate zone. You will prune a third of the plant the following year and the final third in the third year. This keeps a lot of the shrub alive and allows you to thin it every season. Ensure that each consecutive season you periodically prune any new growth.
This is a much more extreme way of pruning but can be effective if the shrubs are too much to manage. You will usually cut the limbs down to 6-12′′ off the ground when you hard prune a shrub. The time frame should be similar to gradual pruning, it should be during late Winter to early Spring. Nevertheless, contrary to the gradual approach, this method takes time for the plant to grow back from the cuttings and return to its ideal form and size. Before hard pruning be sure to confirm that the plant type can sustain itself. Some varieties can’t handle hard pruning. Certain plants like lilacs may be hard pruned, but no new flowers will bloom 2-3 years after rejuvenation.