Prune These Trees and Shrubs Before December 15th

Written by Henrik Rothen

Dec.13 - 2023 3:45 PM CET

Prune These Trees and Shrubs Before December 15th.

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The garden requires special attention to ensure its health and vitality during the winter. A crucial task to be completed before December 15th is the pruning of trees and shrubs.

This article explores the specifics of this operation, highlighting the plants to prune, the reasons why it is preferable to do so before the deadline, and those that are better left undisturbed during this winter period.

What to Prune in the Garden in December?

In December, on the cusp of the calendar winter, certain trees and shrubs need pruning if it has not already been done in the fall or November.

Proper pruning will allow them to go through the cold season lighter and in good health. Here are the species you can prune in early December:

  • Roses

  • Fruit trees

  • Spring-flowering shrubs

  • Ornamental grasses

  • Hedges

  • Perennials

  • Deciduous trees

  • Climbing plants

  • Dwarf conifers

Discover how to give each variety the ideal pruning in December in our slideshow above!

Why It's Better to Prune Before December 15th If you plan to prune these trees in December, make sure to do it before the 15th of the month!

Pruning before December 15th allows the plants to heal before the arrival of the most severe winter temperatures.

Also, by pruning before this date, you promote the growth of new shoots in the spring, thus stimulating the vitality of your plants. Finally, by removing dead or diseased branches at this stage, you reduce the risk of disease spread during the cold season and the dormancy period, when your garden will have more difficulty defending itself.

Trees and Shrubs Not to Prune in December (and All Winter)

On the other hand, some species do not really tolerate winter pruning! In December, and throughout the winter, avoid pruning stone fruit trees, such as cherry and plum trees, as well as summer-flowering shrubs.

Also, leave alone cold-sensitive plants, like citrus. The general rule at the beginning of winter is to avoid any pruning on fragile plants that may be affected by frost.

If you're unsure how to proceed, you can watch the video below to see, for example, how to prune an apple tree.

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