Pruning evergreens into little boxes, balls or rectangles is not pruning, but shrub mutilation. Most trees and shrubs have a natural form to them and may do better and look better if left alone. They���ll grow and take care of themselves. When it is the right time to prune (see above), trim off any branch rubbing against another. This is the time of year when they���ve halted active growth and have hunkered down for the cold weather. Feel free to take off diseased (or outright dead) branches at any time, whether on a needled or a broadleaf evergreen. Pines and spruces are not pruned in this manner, but that is a subject for another day. During the dormant season (winter) is one acceptable answer, especially for holly bushes valued for their berries, since many of us tend to trim off some of the branches for use in indoor displays during the holidays. It is essential to inform yourself as much as you can about the particular plant you have before you take that pair of pruners to it. You can shear random branch evergreens several (e.g., 2-3) times during the spring and summer, if you wish. Prune Garrya elliptica as soon as finished flower tassels; Chimonanthus praecox - The Wintersweet. A spiral is such a popular topiary shape that some companies sell fake plastic spiral topiaries for use in the entryway of homes. Spring is the recommended time to prune evergreen shrubs to tidy up their appearance, according to the University of Iowa Extension Office. Cregg gives clear and understandable directions on why to prune, when to prune and how to prune. Pruning is an important maintenance practice. If the shrubs are still healthy, it may take a couple of years for them heavily to fully recover from years of bad practices. Chances are they are overgrown for the area and a new, more vigorous plant would look better and help renew the landscape. For evergreen shrubs (whether broadleaf or needle-bearing) that comprise hedges, you may want to prune after their new growth has emerged in spring. For instance, if they are flowering shrubs (that is, plants valued for the display put on by their flowers), you will want to wait until after the flowering period to prune. Shearing is often the order of the day for needled evergreen shrubs. So a compromise may be for some varieties of holly: prune in December every other year. Here's how to prune the most common types of evergreens. Whenever unexpected damage from vandalism or bad weather occurs, prune immediately. It also destroys the plant's natural shape and promotes suckering and ��� When you are done pruning you want to retain this look, but on a smaller scale. Why Prune in Late Winter or Early Spring? That is, they do not produce so-called "dormant buds." The best time to prune evergreens is when they are dormant sometime in early spring before they start developing new buds. While, technically speaking, you may treat broadleaf evergreens in the manner described above, there are often reasons not to treat them as you would their needle-bearing comrades. While pruning conifers shares many of the techniques and guidelines for pruning, there are some special considerations for evergreens.In particular, you should know that evergreens do not re-sprout in the way that deciduous t rees and shrubs do. That depends on whether you mean needle-bearing or broadleaf types. Ideally you should have little or no pruning necessary if you ��� Pruning at these times is good for shrubs. Can You Prune a Cypress? The best time to prune them is in early spring, just before they put on their growth spurt. Perform a second, light trimming in late March or early July spiral ��� evergreens general pruning if needed stake. 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