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It’s Time to Prune

While many homeowners have been eager to prune their disheveled perennials and shrubs, waiting until late February has its benefits.

Our feathered and furry friends found food and shelter in the perennials’ unpruned loveliness. Plus, pruning later minimizes the risk of any new growth succumbing to a late freeze.

Appropriate spring pruning of perennials can be quite dramatic. Experts and those who claim expertise debate whether spring pruning means cutting plants to the ground, 3 inches above ground, or 6 inches above ground. It doesn’t really matter. Prune down to where you feel comfortable. I generally prune to 2 to 3 inches above ground.

Always use a sharp pruners or shears. Clean and perpendicular cuts are the bywords in proper pruning. Those with compost areas can cut down the pruned material to a manageable size and layer it in the compost pile.

Prune in the next couple of weeks to get your perennials and shrubs into tip top, aesthetically pleasing shape.

Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson is a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you’re likely to find him hiking San Antonio’s wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
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