Q:

How do you prune juniper shrubs?

A:

Quick Answer

Prune juniper shrubs by pruning any dead or damaged branches, removing any awkward limbs and snipping away any leggy boughs. When pruning, avoid leaving any bare spots or cutting into old growth that contains no green foliage. Prune juniper shrubs in the late winter or early spring after freezing temperatures but before new growth.

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Full Answer

To prune juniper shrubs, locate any dead or damage wood, and cut any damaged limbs back to the last Y-branch junction not growing on old wood. Cut dead limbs back to the trunk where there's no green growth. Remove diseased limbs far back from any sign of disease, and sterilize the pruning shears both before and after cutting the diseased wood to prevent contaminating the rest of the bush.

Increase airflow throughout the shrub by thinning out the center branches. Remove any leggy or awkward limbs that overlap or cross other branches. Prune the bush for shape and size by cutting the side branches back by at least a quarter of their current length to the nearest branch junction.

Avoid cutting an overgrown bush too far, as excessive cutting can cause slow or deformed regrowth. Only shear pyramidal junipers; otherwise, the dense outer growth can restrict airflow and cause needle browning.

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