Most shrubs require pruning to keep them in bounds and help them maintain their good looks. Haphazard hacking can leave gaps and wounds. Shearing can render naturally shapely shrubs stilted or, worse, bloomless. Here, garden editor Mark Kane begins shaping a blackhaw viburnum trio.
Shaping can restrain runaway growth while preserving built-in form. Trace an outer branch from its tip back to a promising side branch poised to follow the shrub's natural outline.
Cut the main branch off close to the side branch, at an angle. Leave as short a stub as possible while being careful not todamage the vital junction between the side branch and main stem.
When selecting side branches to retain, remember that branches should grow into open spaces, not into other branches. (Crossing limbs can create wounds that attract pests.) Remove branches to direct growthout of the shrub's interior and toward its exterior. Shapely shrubs will reemerge.
Continued on page 3: Flowering shrub tips