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Gardeners Shouldn't Be Shy About Pruning Storm-Damaged Plants

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By Jonathan Wilson

This year's record breaking snowfall has left many local trees and shrubs scarred with broken limbs and windstorms even uprooted a few.

Kirsten Buhls, the agriculture and natural resources extension agent for Arlington County, Virginia, says one way residents can help shrubs damaged by heavy snow is by being aggressive with the pruning shears.

She says cutting away damaged parts of a shrub is the best way to promote new growth, but gardeners shouldn't stop there.

She says pruning even healthy branches will help prevent uneven growth in the future.

"You're going to get new growth wherever you prune the plant back to," she says. "So if you can stagger that growth you will quickly regain green areas within the spaces that have been lost."

Buhls says some flowering shrubs, like azaleas, may see reduced flowering this year due to damage from the storm.

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