Today is the Vernal Equinox or first day of spring. With spring officially here, horticulturists with Iowa State University Extension and Outreach advise purning common shrubs for the benefit of the whole plant. Pruning lilacs, dogwoods, forsythias and others can help rejuvenate plants. It is recommended to prune shrubs back over a three year period.
Another recommendation is to cut deciduous shrubs back to within 3 or 4 inches of teh ground in March or early April. Doing this prompts the plants to produce a large number of new shoots.
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