"Spring Cut Back" and "Selective Pruning"

Plant management is one of the most important concepts to maintaining your landscape. A natural pruning technique promotes the natural beauty of the shrubs and ground covers in the landscape. We have created this information sheet to hopefully help our clients better understand the "Spring Cut Back" and "Selective Pruning" management techniques that we will be using on your property.

Our general definition of a "Spring Cut Back" is removing the bulk of the plant material from the shrub and ground covers so that the shrubs are left approximately 18"-24" tall or the main core of the ground cover. Each plant may be treated slightly different as to its condition, but in essence this practice is a severe pruning of the plant that is typically performed in the spring months. It is not always necessary to cut back all of the plants every year. After evaluating the plants on the property, only certain species or areas may need to be cut back from year to year.

Why perform a "Spring Cut Back"?

  • To revitalize a sheared shrub. When shrubs are continually sheared the plant becomes very woody and bare looking. Also, flowers are continually being removed.
  • Keep the plants contained within their intended space without having to continually shear them. Replacing plants in this situation with plants that will fit the intended space is another solution.
Spring Cutback






  • Rejuvenating old shrubs by removing older wood and leaving younger healthier wood. This helps to promote flowering since most flowering shrubs will bloom either on 1-year old growth or on new growth.

What can you expect to see from the "Spring Cut Back"?

Spring Cutback

The first step is cutting back the plant material to an appropriate height. This will also remove any frost damage from the plants that may have occurred during the winter. Typically within the first 30 days you will see new growth appear. As we start into summer you will begin to see more and more flowers on several of the different shrubs and ground covers. Summer is the growing season for a majority of the plants, so this is the time that we want to help control the growth through the use of "Selective Pruning".

"Selective Pruning" is a method of only pruning the unwanted growth from the plant. This would include awkward growth, crossing branches and deadwood. The goal is to keep the natural look of the shrub and help promote flowering.

Spring Cutback







Please remember that Pruning is an invigorating process and one of the most important parts of managing your landscape…

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