How to Prune Plants for Colorful Winter Stems
Dogwoods, willows and ornamental brambles are prized for their colorful winter stems. Prune these plants annually for a beautiful display.
Step 1: Cut Old Stems
Just before growth begins in early to mid-spring, cut out old, stray stems using pruners to give the plant some shape.
Step 2: Cut Back Main Stems
Cut away last year's shoots and all non-woody growth to within 3 inches (7.5 cm) of the main stems to get better access to the center of the plant.
Step 3: Cut Back Shoots
Once you have clear access to the main stems, cut back hard all shoots to 2–3 inches (5–8 cm) from the base of the plant, cutting just above the join with the main stems.
Step 4: Feed Plants
Once you have finished pruning, feed plants with fertilizer, and give the area around their roots a good mulch with compost or well-rotted manure.