When should I prune my large Cornus kousa shrubs?
Cornus kousa, or Kousa Dogwood, are lovely deciduous spring flowering shrubs native to Asia- from Japan and Korea and into China. They should be pruned after the shrub has finished flowering- usually May to June. The flower buds form on last years growth, so pruning later in the year can remove the buds which will become next springs flowers.
If you wish to shape your shrubs, you can do this when they are dormant in early winter. You should also remove any damaged branches at this time, and any crossed over or rubbing branches to improve sun penetration and air circulation to the centre of the shrubs. This will help to keep your shrubs disease free and healthy. As with all pruning, use clean, sharp tools to reduce the risk of tearing the branches off- a possible entry for infection.