Winter Pruning Wisdom: TLC for Ornamental Shrubs

Hey there, fellow garden enthusiasts! As winter wraps its chilly embrace around us, it's the perfect time to show some love to our ornamental shrubs through a little winter pruning magic.
First things first, the golden rule of pruning: never snip away more than 30% of live stems in a single year. It's like giving your shrubs a stylish haircut without going overboard – they'll thank you for it come spring!
Now, onto the essential guidelines: the three Ds and an X – Dead, Dying, Diseased, and Crossing branches. Go through the stems of each shrub, and look for just these issues. (This applies to small trees as well!) This methodical approach serves as a systematic decluttering, akin to refining your shrub's aesthetic while promoting optimal growth.
Why winter, you ask? Well, that's when our leafy friends are catching some Zs, aka dormant. By pruning, while they rest, the risk of diseases infiltrating fresh cuts diminishes significantly. It's a preventive measure, shielding your shrubs from potential harm during their vulnerable state.
Oh, and one more thing – always use a clean blade. Whether it's a lopper or hand pruners, think of it as giving your shrubs a spa day with sanitized tools.
With these quick and easy tips, you’re all set to go putter in the garden on a nice day this winter, getting your shrubs in the healthiest shape so they can flourish in the Spring.