Enhance the health and appearance of prized snowball bushes by pruning them each year. Flowering Japanese, Chinese and European snowball shrubs are members of the viburnum family. Flowers present as lace-caps, hydrangea-like or ball-shaped clusters of blossoms. Prune away all dead wood and blossoms in late spring after the shrub has finished flowering for the season. Hand pruning gives greater control in rejuvenation, renewal of growth and thinning out of an overgrown flowering snowball bush.
Choose a pair of pruning shears that will cut branches of 1/2 to 3/4 inch in diameter. Lopping shears are needed for branches that are up to 3 inches in diameter.
Cut away all of the full-length dead branches with the lopping shears to give a rejuvenated look to the snowball bush. Lop off old blackened and overgrown branches near ground level to renew an older bush.
Trim off the branches and twigs below the blossom clusters with pruning shears to remove the dead flowers from the bush.
Cut a branch 1/4 inch above an emerging bud or near a second branch at the swollen point or branch collar to shorten it. Prune at an angle toward the outer portion of the plant to promote new growth.