With temperatures as low as we have experienced lately it's hard to think about going outside to do anything, much less garden! However, now is the perfect time to shape up your shrubs! Most plants are dormant during the winter so it's the perfect time to prune deciduous plants. Doing so will promote fast regrowth in the spring. First, prune out dead and diseased branches. Then remove the overgrown and smaller branches to increase light and air throughout the plant. Finally, cut branches at the node, the point at which one branch or twig attaches to another.
Not only is it a great time to prune shrubs, it is also time to trim back ornamental grasses. Trim them back to ground leve. This will promote healthy new growth. Ornamental grasses can be trimmed back anytime between now and new growth emerges. It is also important to note there are a few shrubs that should be pruned only during specific times of the year. For example, it is best to prune azaleas after they are finished flowering.