Gardening Answers

If it’s woody, put the pruners down

DrPulte_Moderator | Posted in Southeast Gardening on

The weather people on TV are telling us it’s fall.  However, that does not mean you should be quick to prune.  Being heavy handed with pruning woodies in your garden this time of year could lead to tender new growth.  That new growth may be susceptible to frost damage later in the season.  

Has anyone ever made this mistake?  I sure have, I just get so excited to be back in the garden as temps. start to cool down.


  1. User avater Moderator
    DrPulte_Moderator | | #1
  2. User avater
    cleangreen | | #2

    I trimmed mostly dead limbs from various woody shrubs and got carried away with the flowering quince and mock orange. Silly bc I’m die hard summer til the equinox but excited to get back like you mentioned! 🪴

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #3

      hard to not get excited when cool weather shows up!

  3. User avater Moderator
    marti_n_midwest_moderator | | #4

    I tell all my clients ‘NO pruning’ in the fall until the plants are dormant unless something is dead, broken, diseased or just a huge nuisance, such as in the way of a path or banging on a window. In our area we have flowering species that must be pruned in the spring after flowering or you sacrifice your blooms the next season. A lesson I have to teach every year. Is this a problem in your area as well?

    1. User avater Moderator
      DrPulte_Moderator | | #5

      Yes, so many don't understand spring flowering plants setting their buds in the fall.

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