Prune Cornus this month for the brightest stems
Prune Cornus for the brightest stems If you have a cornus (commonly called dogwood) in the garden you'll know what brilliant year-round plants they are. In summer cornus have attractive leaves and summer berries and throughout autumn and winter their stems really glow in low winter sunlight; brilliant red, golden orange and deep burgundy are just a few of the colours available.
Young stems are the most brightly coloured, so prune cornus this month to encourage lots of new stems to shoot from the plants' base.
Cut old stems close to the base leaving just a few inches of growth, it may look brutal but they will quickly sprout new, brilliantly coloured growth.
This kind of hard pruning is called coppicing, the same technique used for willow and hazel to produce new stems. And like willow and hazel, cornus stems are great for weaving, it's fun to use the coloured stems to make natural plant supports or wigwams for climbing plants. You can also use some freshly cut stems as hardwood cuttings.