Wearing my winter coat and ear muffs, I managed to start my spring pruning today. I have a lot of shrubs that I prune back hard for better foliage, brighter stem colour or both. One of those is Cornus mas ‘Aurea’. Aurea has bright golden foliage that looks striking against deep red stems. I also love the arching shape in the garden. Cornus mas ‘Aurea’ flowers with typical white dogwood flowers in July and red berries appear in fall but its best feature by far is its foliage.
Today I pruned my two specimens down from about 3 feet to less than a foot and it will be a perfect size once again by June. Other shrubs I treat the same way are other dogwoods (including Cornus sericea ‘Flaviramea’ which has terrific green-yellow stems) and Coppertina Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Mindia’ PPAF).