Pruning is often considered to be one of the more challenging chores for the average home gardener in the Midwest.  Personally, I live to prune and clean up shrubs.  Spring is the best time to prune fruit trees and shrubs including apples, pears, plums, raspberries and blueberries.   The rule of thumb for most fruit trees is to remove all new waterspouts, or suckers and any branches that may be crossing one another.  The goal for pruning fruit tress is to cut branches so that more sunlight can get in to the trees.  I also always try to keep in mind what the tree will look like with leaves and fruit on it!

When pruning raspberries, remove all old, gray colored canes as close to the ground as possible.  Blueberries are a little more difficult.  Remove oldest branches or those that appear to have a grey colored bark flaking off the branch. If pruned correctly, a 10 year old blueberry bush should not be much taller than 5′.

I also remove older and thicker wood from red and yellow dogwoods, chokeberries, curly willow and physocarpus.

Spring IS NOT the time to prune any spring or early summer blooming shrubs, in particular Lilacs.  Something to remember when pruning flowering shrubs is to wait about 2 weeks after the last blooms are spent and then prune by shaping or thinning.