Your Year Around Flower and Garden Guide

Annual and Seasonal Pruning

Pruning Basics - Why Prune Anyway

Most bushes and shrubs benefit from a light or heavier annual pruning at the proper time. Pruning increases harvest, whether of flowers or fruit. It helps to prevent disease by removing diseased or broken branches that could be susceptible. And it keeps under control those vines or bushes that tend to become rampant and take over the whole garden.

Shape and From Trees and Bushes

Pruning also shapes a young tree into the correct way of growing for optimum health and productivity. Trees can easily grow into lop-sided shapes that are neither artistically pleasing nor good for the tree. Wet weather or constant winds can easily uproot a tree that is growing in a lopsided manner. Proper development of the tree through pruning is critical during its young stage of growth. If it's left till the tree is big, a balanced shape is harder to achieve.

Pruning for Fruit Gardeners

For the fruit gardening lovers it is a known fact that pruning their bushes, trees or vines will not only keep their plants in the proper place but is essential to the harvest you can expect at the end of the season. Be sure to read the section on pruning the different fruit at this site.

Pruning Tools

Pruning equipment should be kept sharp and in good condition to aid in a clean cut that will heal quickly. When pruning a branch, it should be taken back to where there is another bud or section that is growing to avoid leaving a stump that will die back a further several inches or more. If a large branch must be pruned, cover the cut with grafting mastic or paint that is water-resistant to help it heal and prevent disease.

When to Prune and When NOT to prune

Pruning should be done prior to the main growth seasons of spring and fall. With coniferous evergreens and broadleaf trees such as yew, holly, junipers, cypress, boxwood, nandina and arborvitae, spring is the most important season and so pruning should be done in late winter.

Certain varieties of tree set their flower buds on in the autumn, so they need to be pruned after they have flowered or else you risk taking away that glorious profusion of flowers. Deciduous trees often send up suckers from the base of the trunk too, and these should be cut off or the look of the tree will be drastically altered.

Exceptions to the Pruning Rule

Summer flowering trees should be pruned at a different time to those trees that flower in the spring. Certain fruit trees such as peaches grow the fruit on the last season's branches, so if you prune them back you risk getting less fruit. On the other hand, if there seems to be excessive growth, you may need to do some judicious pruning to save the tree from overload and increase the size of the fruit.

Annual pruning stimulates growth, so if you live in a snowy area, don't prune in late autumn or freezing weather will ruin the new growth.

Related :

Annual And Seasonal Pruning
Pruning, Pinching and Clipping Shrubs
Pruning Blackberry Bushes
Pruning Apple Trees
Pruning Grapes
Pruning Raspberries