We have all enjoyed the beauty of the hydrangea trees for the last several months and now the blossoms have faded and turned brown. Now is the time to prune off the flower clusters. These spent flowers catch the snow (and ice) from winter storms and the weight of this snow and ice can cause the branches to snap off. We learned this lesson the hard way. A few years ago, we hadn’t gotten to pruning the hydrangea tree yet and we had a late fall snow. The flowers caught the heavy snow and the branches started to bend causing one of the main branches up in the tree to split off. It took a couple of years of new growth to fill in the gap created by this branch snapping off. I pruned our Tardiva tree hydrangea this morning with our garden loppers and it took just about ten minutes start to finish.