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Burke County Pruning Calendar

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Shade Trees:

Oaks, Hickory, Poplar, Gum, Beech, Ginkgo, etc.

Prune broken limbs. Do not prune “bleeder” trees (See July). Make cuts flush with trunk or limb.


Fruit Trees:

Apple, Pear, Cherry, Plum, Peach, Nectarine

Prune annually for best fruit production.

Summer Flowering Shrubs:

Crape Myrtle, Rose of Sharon (Althea), Eleagnus, Butterfly Bush

Prune if shrublike form desired.

Ornamental Grasses:

Liriope (lily turf), Mondo Grass (Monkey Grass), Pampas Grass

Trim annually.

Overgrown Shrubbery:

Ligustrum (Privet), Osmanthus, Red-Tip Photinia, Holly, Boxwood, Cleyera, some Junipers, etc…

Prune late February to desired size. Try not to prune more than 1/3 total shrub.


Established plants

Thin oldest canes to ground level.

Japonica Camellias and Sasanqua Camellias

Prune anytime after flowering. Never prune after July 4th.


Prune out water sprout and any limbs out of shape.


Prune annually so training is easier.



Prune annually for showy flowers.


Prune canes to ground level as needed.


Shape to desired form early in March.

Spring Flowering Shrubs:

Forsythia (yellow bells), Spirea, Flowering Quince, Weigelia, Breath-of-Spring (winter honeysuckle), Lilac

Prune IMMEDIATELY after flowering. Do Not prune after July 4th. In general, prune limbs to ground level.



Prune late in April AFTER flowering. Never prune after July 4th.

Winter Damaged Plants

Prune dead branches caused by cold weather in late April.

Berry Producing Shrubs:

Pyracantha, Buford Holly, other hollies, etc…..

Prune while in flower to prevent removal of all berries.

Spring Flowering Trees

Prune only as needed IMMEDIATELY after blooming.



Prune after flowering. Always prune to a whorl of leaves or the next branch. Do not prune after July 4th.


Privet, Abelia, Euonymus, Boxwood, Holly, etc..

Prune as needed. Always make top more narrow than bottom.


Narrowleaved Evergreens:

Hemlock, White Pine, Juniper, Arborvitae, Yew, Cedar, etc…

In general, prune late in June and only into new growth.


Prune as needed.

Perennial Flowers:

Phlox, Shasta Daisies, Daylilies

Removing old flowers on these perennials may encourage a second bloom.


Pinch as needed to make a bushier plant but discontinue pinching after July 10th.

French or Florists Hydrangea

Prune whole flowering or immediately after.

Fruit Trees

Remove water sprouts.


Bleeder Trees:

Maple, Birch, Dogwood, Elm, etc..

Prune damaged limbs or trim as desired.


Prune leggy plants ONLY and fertilize after pruning for fall flowering.


As needed.


Blackberry and Raspberry

Prune out the wood that bore fruit. Cut canes to ground level.


Prune to desired height


Any Plants

Remove any deadwood on trees and shrubs.


Cut flowers to be enjoyed inside.

Holly, Nandina, Pyranth, Pyracantha, etc…

Remove any underbrush now, it is less noticeable.


Some trees should be allowed to let their limbs grow until they sweep the ground:  Southern Magnolia, Deodar Cedar, American Holly, Hemlock and White Pine are among the ones commonly found in Burke County.

Click here for a printable copy of the Burke County Pruning Calendar