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carol g

Pruning Shrubs at Planting - branches and roots

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I lost two Caryopteris that did not survive the 2013 winter.  I was not able to find replacements locally, so I mail-ordered them from a reputable source.  They just arrived today and I am a bit disappointed.  The plants are somewhat rootbound, but not the worst I've seen.  The topgrowth however, has been "sheared."  They do not  look like they have ever been pruned to remove crossing branches, branches growing into the center, etc.  My practice with the shrubs that I cut hard in the spring (caryopteris, callicarpa, spirea) is to try and establish a well-spaced framework, sort of like rose-growers do.


I would like to cut these new shrubs back hard, remove crossing branches, spindly growth, etc.  However, it is now June and I have never cut this late in the past.  Can I go ahead and clean up the tangled roots and tangled, crowded topgrowth before planting?  These shrubs are already leafed out, but not fully, and are probably 2 years old - they are a 1 gallon pot size.


thank you to all.

Carol G



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