Proper Winter Pruning

Most of your landscape will go dormant this winter which means that it is a perfect time to prune your trees and shrubs, both for their health and to maintain their shape, if necessary. Whispering Springs Nursery has tips for you on the plants that you should and shouldn’t get your clippers out for when the weather turns cold.

How to Prune HydrangeaFruits

North Georgia is wine country. Many people have grapes growing in their backyard, whether for wine making or just for fun, and the benefit from a healthy dose of pruning in the winter. Training the plants to develop a main stem with several lateral arms is best for their health and production. Prune close to the lateral arms to produce the best fruit later in the year. Your amount of pruning should be relative to the amount of growth the particular grape variety typically produces.

Blue berries and other bush berries produce best on stems that are three years old or less. Each winter, cut about a third of the oldest stems off at ground level to encourage new growth.

Your deciduous fruit trees should be pruned midwinter. You’ll be removing some of the blooms, but allowing more light into the plant to produce a better crop of fruit. To prevent disease while pruning, dip your garden shears into rubbing alcohol.


Leave your roses to fend for themselves until after their spring bloom. This is the only time that they should be pruned to prevent damage.


Most veteran gardeners know that hydrangeas bloom on old wood, so if you prune them in the winter or early spring you’ll be removing flower buds. The best time for pruning is before midsummer, unless you’re growing an Endless Summer Series in which case the timing of your pruning is less critical because they bloom on both new and old growth.

Summer-Blooming Trees and Shrubs

Crape myrtles, butterfly bush, and potentilla produce their flowers on the new growth from the current season. This fact means that winter is a great time for pruning while the plants are dormant. You can even cut them all the way to the ground in late winter and they’ll still bloom in the summer.

Do you have a question about how to prune a particular plant in your landscape? Give us a call at Whispering Springs Nursery in Jasper, Georgia. We’d be happy to talk you through what your plants need from you this winter. Or, schedule us to come out and take care of your landscape maintenance for you and all you have to do is appreciate your freshly trimmed plants!