Woody shrubs are a staple in Colorado gardens and landscapes, providing year-round interest, beauty, and privacy. However, over time, woody shrubs can become overgrown, diseased, or just plain unattractive. But instead of removing them and starting over, you can rejuvenate them with a few simple steps.
Step 1: Pruning – The first step in rejuvenating woody shrubs is pruning. Pruning should be done in late winter or early spring, before new growth begins. When pruning, it is important to remove all dead, diseased, and damaged wood, cutting it back to healthy wood. You should also remove any crossing or rubbing branches to improve the overall shape and structure of the shrub.
Step 2: Renewal Pruning – For woody shrubs that have become overgrown, a more drastic form of pruning, known as renewal pruning, may be necessary. Renewal pruning involves cutting the shrub back to the ground, or almost to the ground, in order to encourage new growth and rejuvenation. This should be done over two to three years, cutting a third of the shrub each year, until it has been fully rejuvenated.
Step 3: Fertilizing – After pruning, it is important to fertilize the shrubs to encourage new growth and support the rejuvenation process. A balanced, slow-release fertilizer should be used, applied according to the package instructions.
Step 4: Watering – Woody shrubs need a consistent supply of water to support their growth, especially after rejuvenation pruning. Ensure that your shrubs are getting enough water, especially during periods of drought, by watering deeply and regularly.
By following these simple steps, you can rejuvenate your woody shrubs in Colorado and bring new life to your garden. Whether you have a few overgrown shrubs or an entire landscape in need of rejuvenation, with some time, patience, and care, you can have beautiful, healthy shrubs once again.
Check out this presentation prepared by Colorado State Forest Service! https://csfs.colostate.edu/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Pruning_HowToPruneShrubs.pdf