Tips from the Field: Rejuvenation Pruning

Tips from the Field: Rejuvenation Pruning

By Craig Spihlman

When a bush, shrub, or tree becomes unwieldy and overgrown, it’s not always necessary to remove the entire plant and replace it. Rejuvenation pruning is a cost-effective way to renew an overgrown landscape without the cost of plant replacement.

The objective of rejuvenation pruning is to remove the older growth, leaving behind a younger and more vigorous plant. When this is done properly at the right time of year, the tree or shrub will often experience new, healthier, and more manageable growth that same season.

The best time to perform rejuvenation pruning is in early spring before new growth begins.

An added benefit is that a smaller, healthier plant is more eco-friendly because it requires less water and nutrients; it also uses these nutrients more efficiently.

Some plants that can benefit from rejuvenation pruning include:

  • Lilac
  • Burning bush
  • Viburnum
  • Japanese maple
  • Crabapple tree
  • Holly
  • Red twig dogwood
  • Roses

When working with property managers to care for commercial landscapes, rejuvenation pruning is something I often recommend when we need to strike a balance between economic and horticultural benefits. Through this approach, budget resources are freed up for other priorities.

Rejuvenating pruning can be a great alternative to removing overgrown bushes, shrubs, or trees, transforming overgrown and unsightly plants into fresh and attractive additions to your landscape.