Magnolias are one of those luxurious plants that you may fear ever going near with a pair of loppers.
Good news is that your cotoneaster will look great with or without pruning but you might want to give your shrub a trim every now and then to keep it healthy and well-shaped.
There are many cotoneaster varieties, and you might very well have one in your garden offering you beautiful autumn berries. Whilst cotoneaster flowers provide a welcome show in the summer, these plants become covered in clusters of vivid red ornamental berries in the winter and are ideal for inducing that festive spirit. Most specimens need very little pruning, but if you want to keep your plant healthy and well-shaped, tidying cotoneasters up occasionally is a good idea.
Cut cotoneaster in late winter
If you want to get the best show out of your cotoneasters, don’t cut them back until late winter. This allows you time to enjoy the cascade of berries, before chopping back your plants to keep them compact and well shaped.
After the berries have faded or been stripped by the birds, you can cut back flowered branches to strong and healthy side shoots. It does not matter how much you cut off as long as you like the new shape.
Dead, withered and diseased branches should also be removed at this time, and you can remove long stems which may be growing along the floor.
Reshaping the plant requires time and patience
Cotoneasters are good at regenerating from old wood, but can be slow growing. This means that you can normally reshape a plant to your heart’s content, but don’t cut too much off in one go as it could take quite a while to green up again.
So if the newly-pruned cotoneaster looks odd (and that will be subject to your personal opinion as to what represents an odd shape), it will take some patience to change it.