Shearing plants

Asked December 7, 2012, 2:07 PM EST

I have a very large mass planting of Euonymus f. 'Radicans' that appears irregular and unkempt. Can I shear the plants to be uniform in height? and if so will I get even, uniform new growth?

Oregon

1 Response

Euonymus f. 'Radicans' is a vine-like shrub. Most shrubs in the natural form are mound like and have a predetermined size. The majority of us ignore this and put shrubs in a space where full size won't fit and try to prune it into submission. Vines on the other hand tend to grow more random in shape but also have a predetermined size. The Celastraceae family tolerates pruning well enough to shape and arrange. Shearing is a specific type of pruning that has an unnatural appearance and has to be maintained on a regular basis. Shearing also reduces leaf growth in the center while increasing leaves at the outer edge, and is the most aggressive type of pruning. Different shrubs and vines alike have a unique pruning tolerance and when over pruned either die back or form radical shoots often called water sprouts. Yes, you can prune your euonymus to an even height , but as far as growing evenly its not likely. Pruning in my humble opinion is an art with scientific principals making it difficult to share. Three experts would have three different results, each pruning your shrubs correctly.