Late winter and early spring are the ideal times for pruning most shrubs and trees. (The major exception being those that bloom on the previous year’s growth, in which pruning would remove the flower buds.) Use this time to also evaluate and tend to hedges. Most evergreen hedges can be trimmed twice a year for shape, in late winter and again in midsummer. Prune most deciduous hedges just once, in late winter. It’s easy to focus on the exterior of the hedge, but don’t neglect the interior. Be sure to reach in and remove any dead wood. This will create better airflow to the interior of the hedge, which tends to become a very warm and humid environment in summer—exactly the conditions many garden diseases favor.
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