Trimming bushes and shrubs

Asked August 1, 2019, 5:47 PM EDT

When should I trim bushes and shrubs? They are getting a bit out of hand now, but I hesitate to do any trimming while they are growing. What is the best time of year?

Denver County Colorado pruning

1 Response

The best time to prune shrubs depends on the species.

Spring-blooming shrubs form their flower buds the previous growing season and the buds overwinter on the shrub. For example, lilacs that bloom in May form the flower buds for the following year right after they are finish flowering and those buds are on the plants now and are there all winter. If you prune now, you may cut off all next year's flowers.

Summer-blooming shrubs form their flower buds in the spring of the same year they flower so those you could safely be pruned now. Here are more details: https://static.colostate.edu/client-files/csfs/pdfs/PruningFloweringShrubs_619.pdf

If you don't know what shrubs you have or can't figure out whether your shrubs would be classified as spring-blooming or summer-blooming, send us photos and we will try to help sort it out.