Late fall is one of the best times to prune ornamental shrubs. Many shrubs are deciduous, which means they lose their leaves in the fall. Once the leaves fall from the shrubs, the structure of the plant becomes more visible. Another reason fall is a good time to prune shrubs is because most shrubs go dormant for the winter at that point. Shrubs pruned while they are dormant are more likely to remain healthy.
Sharpen your pruning shears to avoid bruising the shrub.
Mix a solution containing 1 part bleach and 9 parts water. Use the solution to sterilize your pruning shears between each cut on the shrubs to avoid the spread of diseases.
Plan your entire pruning process before you make your first cut. This will help to ensure that you don't remove too many branches or the wrong branches.
Remove all diseased, broken or dead branches.
Remove weak or spindly growth.
Remove branches that rub one another or cross the central canopy.
Thin the canopy of densely growing shrubs. This will allow the lower limbs to get more light and develop more fully.