Japanese Aucuba Pruned!

I recently pruned my front-yard Japanese aucuba, also known as Aucuba japonica, Japanese laurel, spotted laurel, and gold dust tree. As shown in the photo, new brightly colored leaves are already forming. Vibrant!

HOW TO: To prune my Japanese aucuba, I used a lopper. A photo and description of how to use a lopper for pruning can be found here: http://gardening.about.com/od/toolschool/ig/Pruning-Tools/Using-a-Lopper-to-Prune-Plants.htm

Pruning was a simple matter of deciding how tall I wanted the plant to be and lopping off the tops of very firm stalks. They’re so firm that I would advise against using gardening shears – be kind to your hands and arms! The photo, taken earlier this evening, shows the pruning “aftermath.” You’ll notice that the tip of the cut stalks appear dried out, brown, and not very lively. No worries! Like pruned roses, the new leaves emerge very close to the cut stalk tips. Soon, the whole top of the plant will fill out, becoming lush, like it was before the pruning. Click on the photo for an enlarged view of this lovely transformation!

CONSUMER ALERT UPDATE: Japanese aucuba has been reported to be poisonous, though the level of toxicity has been reported to be minor.

More information on toxic plants can be found here:

http://www.calpoison.org/hcp/KNOW%20YOUR%20PLANTS-plant%20list%20for%20CPCS%2009B.pdf

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