Tired of constant pruning or need a change from those green gumdrops, hockey pucks and meatballs? With a bit of time and patience you can convert these back to their natural beauty.
Start the unshearing process in late winter or early spring. You’ll need a good pair of bypass pruners, loppers and a pruning saw. And don’t forget the gloves and safety glasses for your protection.
Use renewal pruning to convert multi-stemmed shrubs like forsythia and redtwig dogwood back to their natural habit. Remove a few of the biggest oldest stems to ground level. Repeat each year.
Multi branched plants are a bit trickier. Remove a few of the thickest clumps of twiggy growth throughout the sheared plant. Or remove several of the finer smaller twigs from the twiggy masses. Or use a combination. Make cuts back to the main stem. Repeat yearly until the plant regains its natural appearance.
A bit more information: Some shrubs tolerate shearing better than others. When shearing a hedge of planting, keep the base of the plant wider than the top. This allows light to reach all parts of the plant, preventing naked ankle syndrome; shrubs with no leaves at the bottom and all the greenery at the top of the planting.
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