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Attached are photos are of my euonymus. They're all about ten years old. Until the very cold winter of 2010-11 they grew happily, but that winter the deer and rabbits ate them from the ground up. It's taken them since then to recover and I haven't trimmed them at all. This year they're finally getting new growth inside. The older outside stems are leggy, with growth only at the tops. I'm thinking of cutting them all back to the height of the new inside growth to encourage more new leaf growth all around. Do you think this is a good idea? Or should I let them be and merely trim them a bit on the tops? These are slow growers as it is but I'd love to see them fuller and filled in. I'd appreciate your advice. Thank you very much! Sincerely, Ann

Answer

Attached are photos are of my euonymus. They're all about ten years old. Until the very cold winter of 2010-11 they grew happily, but that winter the deer and rabbits ate them from the ground up. It's taken them since then to recover and I haven't trimmed them at all. This year they're finally getting new growth inside. The older outside stems are leggy, with growth only at the tops. I'm thinking of cutting them all back to the height of the new inside growth to encourage more new leaf growth all around. Do you think this is a good idea? Or should I let them be and merely trim them a bit on the tops? These are slow growers as it is but I'd love to see them fuller and filled in. I'd appreciate your advice. Thank you very much! Sincerely, Ann Yes, it is a good idea to cut them back, but not at this time. The shrubs are preparing for winter and will not be putting on anymore new growth this year.

The proper time to cut them back is in the spring. Wait until the end of May to the middle of June. This is the time of year when the sugars and water move from the roots up into the stems and leaves to push out new growth.

Cut back all the leggy stems. This action sends a message to the roots to send up new shoots. Loosen the soil around the base of the plants and fertilize the plants with Hollytone and water in.

Keep them watered well throughout the season - a couple of times per week. A plant needs sufficient water to put on new growth. Fertilize again around the end of July.

You will have full shrubs by this time next year.

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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