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Late Winter (March) Pruning

Late Winter (March) Pruning

Late winter is the ideal time to remove dead and broken limbs and to shape certain trees, vines, and bushes.

Use The Right Tool

The right tool makes pruning a breeze. Loopers, hand clippers, and shears help trim and shape everything in your yard from tree branches to vine. Always make clean cuts using sharp, rust-free pruning tools to avoid limb disease and bug infestation. If there is any evidence of rust on the blade or your pruning tools, wipe the tools clean with motor oil or vegetable oil before using. Oil the wooden handles of your pruning tools with linseed oil annually.

Which Plants Should I Prune?

The plants to prune in late winter include:

  • Barberry – remove dead branches or reshape
  • Boxwood – clip new growth off the shrub
  • Butterfly Bush – remove dead branches or reshape
  • Clematis — Prune summer-blooming varieties of this climbing vine
  • Currant
  • Flowering Dogwood — Remove only dead wood and to reshape
  • Fruit trees – before blooms or new growth appears
  • Gooseberry
  • Grapevines
  • Holly – bushes or trees
  • Hydrangea
  • Lilacs — prune shrub branches to encourage fuller flowering
  • Pyracanthas – prune overly long shrub stems to keep it in its established perimeters.
  • Roses – in the first month that no freeze will occur

This is a general pruning guide. For more specific information on how to prune and when to prune in your area of the country, check with your local garden center or agricultural county extension agent.

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If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1919, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.

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