I have a oak leaf hydrangea that needs pruning. I’ll be away until early April. Is there any problem with pruning it now? I’m in Toronto by the way.
Thank you for contacting the Toronto Master Gardeners with your query.
Oak leaf hydrangea, Hydrangea quercifolia is a wonderful focal point in any garden with its large panicle flowers that bloom from spring to early summer from white green to pink to bronze. It is a very large hydrangea and can grow 8-10 feet tall in the right sunny location in slightly acidic soil.
Hydrangeas flower on the previous year’s growth. They set their flower buds for the next year in August after the current flowers have finished blooming in June or July. That is the ideal time to prune your shrub. If you prune now, you will be cutting off this year’s flowers. At this time of year you can cut out dead, old or diseased stems and those that are crossing or rubbing against another stem. Make sure you sterilize your loppers between cuts to ensure that you do not spread any diseases.
This Master Gardener web site has a number of posts dealing with pruning oak leaf hydrangeas. You an access these by filling in the search option.