In early spring, remove older, thicker stems at ground level to rejuvenate the plant. This will allow light and air into the centre of the shrub to promote new growth. Shaping can be done later during the season after the shrub has flowered. Remember, some plants flower on new wood (this year’s
growth) and others on old wood (last year’s growth). Mock-orange, Serviceberry, Saskatoon, Forsythia, Lilacs and Deutzia produce flowers on the previous year’s growth and should be pruned after flowering. Summer flowering shrubs such as Annabelle and Peegee Hydrangeas, Potentillas, summer flowering Spireas, and Rose-of-Sharon should be pruned in early spring before growth begins.