Step 1: Evaluate the shrub
Before pruning, evaluate the shrub to determine where it needs work. Look for a thick and crowded bottom, irregular growth, old and unhealthy stems or straggly inside growth, and excessive height. These problems can be corrected with proper pruning.
Evaluate the shrub’s pruning needs.
Step 2: Prune weak and dead branches
Start by pruning weak or dead branches to open the plant up. Always cut away a branch where it grows from the stem or live shoot. Cut the stem at an angle and leave a small branch bark collar.
Cut at an angle and leave a small branch bark collar.
Step 3: Thin out the shrub
Prune away old scraggly growth and crossed, crowded branches. Removing excessive small inside branches opens the plant without stimulating new top growth.
Remove excessive small inside branches.
Step 4: Prune the bottom of the shrub
Trim away branches that are too close to the ground. Leave healthy new shoots that form the main structure.
Trim branches that are too close to the ground.
Step 5: Trim irregular branches and height
Step back and review your work. Now look for irregular branches that need to be removed. End by trimming the height of the shrub. Remove just enough top shoots to bring the shrub down to the desired height. The finished, pruned shrub will be healthy, properly shaped, and ready for new growth.
Cut irregular branches.