Don’t Prune Too Soon!!

— Written By
buds on a stem

Phil Roeder CC-BY

Wait until new growth starts in the Spring.

Pruning too early may result in:

  • Stimulating new growth that will be vulnerable to a late freeze.
  • Removing more of the plant than necessary. Often much more of the plant tissue appears dead than actually is.
  • Removing the insulating value of the dead parts of the plant protecting the living tissue. The dead leaves and stems can reduce wind burn.

Once new growth emerges, cut back to active buds.

If you're a North Carolina resident with a question about a topic on this site, your local N.C. Cooperative Extension office can help.

Submit your question to our Ask an Expert tool or contact your local county center.

Written By

Photo of Lucy Bradley, N.C. Cooperative ExtensionDr. Lucy BradleyUrban Horticulture Professor and Extension Specialist (919) 513-2001 lucy_bradley@ncsu.eduHorticultural Science
NC State Extension, NC State University
Posted on Feb 1, 2018
Was the information on this page helpful? Yes check No close
Scannable QR Code to Access Electronic Version