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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Kozculab


Shrubs that can benefit from rejuvenation pruning

The magic of Rejuvenation Pruning for shrubs is as cool as it is counterintuitive, especially if you are new to the gardening world; but not to fret, even some of the most well-seasoned in the plant-shrub-tree care world may have only discovered Rejuvenation Pruning while actually trying to achieve something else altogether! In this educational piece, our very own Amanda will give the masses, no matter what your experience, a bit of insight behind the science of Rejuvenation Pruning! So keep on reading on, and for all our Sherwood Park, Edmonton and surrounding area folks, free quotes from a collection of certified individuals are available to you! Give us a shout at 780-919-2302 to see if your shrubs are a good candidate for Rejuvenation Pruning.

Beautiful white flower from Dogwood shrub

Deciduous Shrubs

What is rejuvenation and when to do it? 

Rejuvenation pruning is a technique used commonly for deciduous shrubs, to prompt healthy growth and is a way to prune overgrown neglected shrubs. Deciduous shrubs are cut back within 4 to 6 inches from the ground in early spring (late March, early April). This practice will induce a large number of new shoots that develop in the growing season. In late winter the following year, select and keep several healthy,strong shoots and remove all others at ground level. This will encourage those shoots to thrive; a head cut can be used to encourage branching.  Overgrown Dogwoods, Lilacs, Honeysuckles, Potentillas, Viburnums, are some great options that do well with this type of pruning. 

Honey bee and beautiful flowers from Potentillas

Considerations: some shrubs do well with this practice, however timing is very important so knowing what shrubs you have is very important. Also coniferous shrubs should not be rejuvenated.  

Why Rejuvenate a shrub? 

Neglected shrubs or shrubs that have not been pruned in several years can begin to look unsightly and crowded. They can also have many dead or diseased stems, another possibility is the older wood is no longer productive (no flowers, no leaves). Essentially when cutting the shrubs back you are resetting or allowing the shrub a second chance. The result is a smaller healthy plant that will continue to produce flowers for years to come. For shrubs like Red Osier Dogwood this practice results in brighter colour for the stems. 

Coniferous Shrubs

Coniferous shrubs that would not benefit from Rejuvenation Pruning

Large and overgrown evergreen shrubs are another story, rejuvenation of evergreens would not be an acceptable practice as it would leave a stump that would not grow back. This is why it is important to know what type of shrubs you have or contact a local arborist. Most evergreens have bare or dead zones in their centers, this is just a natural outcome for these plants. They can not be pruned back severely because they are not capable of initiating new growth from bare branches.

Written by Amanda Kozculab

Editing and Media by Kate Duke

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