Dormant Shrub Pruning

Blog Category: Landscaping & Maintenance
November 2, 2016 by Wright Outdoor Solutions

As the cooler temperatures get ready to set in for the changing seasons, it is easy to think that most lawn and landscape maintenance is also coming to a close. However, the drop in temperature is the perfect time to plan for shrub pruning. The climatic shift beckons shrubs and trees alike into dormancy, a period when plant metabolism slows to conserve energy for the next growing season. To prevent tip burn, we recommend waiting until after a hard freeze to prune. It’s a great idea to plan ahead, however, and call to schedule your shrub maintenance now.

Benefits of Dormant Pruning


After the leaves have fallen, it is much easier to see the structure for more precise pruning.

Faster Recovery

Pruning during dormancy puts less stress and strain on the shrub, allowing the plant to direct resources to healing rather than growth.

Disease Management

Fresh cuts during dormancy are less susceptible to pests and diseases. The faster recovery process also closes up the cuts much faster than during growing season, further safeguarding the plant from pest and disease.

Weather Resistance

Removing weak, damaged and dead limbs makes the overall plant much stronger and better able to withstand severe weather conditions.

Things to Consider

It is important to avoid winter pruning of shrubs that flower in the spring; such as lilacs, weigelas, pussy willows and forsythia. Spring-flowering shrubs set their buds for the next year right after blooming. If trimmed back during the cool months, you will cut off the flower buds it has set, reducing the bloom.

Evergreen shrubs should be pruned in very early spring before their new growth starts. Pine species should be pruned in the spring only.

Are you needing some shrubs pruned? Give us a call at 515.987.0800 or request a quote online.

Looking for other ways to get your landscape in shape for the upcoming Iowa winter? Read more here.