This moment could not have come soon enough. With some free time early this morning coupled with the fact that it was 60 degrees here in New Jersey, it was a no-brainer to get outdoors and cross some spring gardening tasks off of the list, specifically, some spring pruning.
For today, it was the pruning of two of the largest shrubs in my garden and two shrubs that I pruned to the ground (with success) last spring: Redtwig Dogwood and Dappled Willow (Salix ‘Hakuro Nishiki’).
Here is the original post on the spring pruning of the redtwig dogwood:
pruning redtwig dogwood
And the original post on the spring pruning of the dappled willow:
And here is an update I posted on the progress of both shrubs last June:
pruning updates in June
And to further update you on the results of the severe spring pruning, here is a photo of the redtwig dogwood prior to it being pruned this morning:
Even after being cut to the ground last March, this deciduous shrub ended up growing to about 5-6′ feet tall and 3-4′ wide. And the red stem color was killer all fall/winter.
I heard more compliments and more “what is this shrub” comments from visitors this winter than ever before. In other words, “success”.
The Dappled Willow went bananas after it was also pruned to the ground last March. Check these pics out.
And in September.
Totally out of control. This year I need to do a better job of cutting this back a few times throughout the year to keep it in bounds.
Back to this morning.
The redtwig dogwood was up first.
As much as it pained me to see it go, it is necessary for me to keep it at a size that doesn’t outgrow its location. I’ve tried other redtwig dogwood shrubs in other parts of my garden, and the deer have destroyed it every time. In this location along the front foundation of my home, it has escaped them. The only issues are that it is a tighter fit and not full sun. But three years in, we are still good to go.
By the way, I make it a point to save the cut stems for indoor decorating because you know, I’m all about the interior decorating.
Next up was the Salix.
A little bit tougher to cut back with the thicker stems.
But if you have nice and sharp loppers like I do and if you are as brutally strong as I am, you should be fine.
This was the second year in a row that a bird nested in this shrub during the winter and I made sure all was clear before proceeding this morning. No birds were injured as part of this project.
With nothing but warm weather on the horizon, expect to see more spring chore completion over the next few days.