Spring may seem a bit late, but it will get here, and soon. There is still time to prune some of your ornamental blooming trees and shrubs before they leaf out fully. The question everyone asks me is: What do I prune now and what do I wait on?
This is the easiest time of year to prune your crab apples, before they leaf out. You want to remove any small growth along the trunk and branches. Remove suckers and 'water spouts'; those are those odd looking 'straight' branches that can look so out of place on an ornamental tree. Removing these branches will allow the tree to devote its full energy on growth and fruit production. And fruit means blooms!
This is also the time of year to prune hydrangea arborescens (Annabelle, Incredible, White Dome, and many others) and hydrangea paniculata (Limelight, Pinky Winky, Quick Fire, and many others) because these shrubs bloom on 'new wood', or this season's new growth.
You definitely want to wait to prune the macrophylla (Endless Summer, a favorite, and Nikko Blue) or quercifola ( oakleaf hydrangeas such as Pee Wee and Ruby Slippers) varieties of hydrangea, though. These varieties bloom on 'old wood', branches that have been on the plant through the winter. Wait to prune these ornametal beauties until after you have enjoyed their spring bloom.
As always, if you need a little help, I am available!