Gardening Answers

Can this shrubs be saved?

LR99 | Posted in Pacific Northwest Gardening on

We live in south central British Columbia and have had several years of very droughty seasons (spring through fall). Luckily we’re having more rain this spring! We have a small lace leaf maple in the flower garden and a good sized walnut tree planted in an otherwise usually wetter area (does get watered a number of times though). Now both have many limbs damaged (approx. 2/3), leafless, due to last summer’s evacuation and drought (fires, but our property was not burned). Will a hard pruning rescue these trees? Would that be November? Sooner?


  1. User avater Moderator
    DrPulte_Moderator | | #1

    You can always prune out dead wood - that is where I would start. Follow this up with structural pruning in the dormant season.

    1. LR99 | | #2

      Thank you! The laceleaf maple is my bigger concern. When we prune in November, how much of branches should be left on? I am thinking of overall shape, but they do tend toward an arty Japanese brush painting kind of shape -- at least this one does. [Please ignore weeds -- I work full-time, garden part-time. Shot from above as you can see.] Second photo shows the branch where I can't tell if it should come off (November) -- the red color mid branch suggests life? As mentioned, it was droughty years plus us being evacuated last fall (fires: sprinkling on timers was out when hydro was damaged for the entire area). Even those not evacuated in our region are referring to branches not leafing out due to the extra warm fall followed by a severe cold snap.

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