Hi: I have three mature Firebush in my landscaping. They have yet to leaf out...
Hi: I have three mature Firebush in my landscaping. They have yet to leaf out except near the bottom of each shrub. The stems are flexible so I think there is life there. Can and should I prune them back to the bottom growth or just wait to see if they leaf out? Thanks
Douglas County Minnesota pruning
Thank you for the question. I'm not sure what type of plant you have. Firebush are hardy in the southern states, zone 8-11. Perhaps you have Euonymous or burning bush? Here are links that you can follow to determine what you have http://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/shrubs/euonymus-alatus/ or http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/cemap/firebush/firebush.html.
If you do have burning bush, you can gently scratch a bit of the stems to see if they are green and moist, indicating life. It was a very difficult winter, so if they seem to be alive, just be patient and see what happens. These are hardy shrubs that can be pruned back hard at early spring before leafing out if desired.