When and how to prune trees and shrubs
Ask most gardeners to name the task that fills them most with dread and fear, and pruning will almost certainly come to mind. This doesn’t of course need to be the case. With a little planning and preparation in advance then we can easily maintain the long term health and vibrancy of the garden.
Pruning is the process of removing particular parts of a tree, plant or shrub on a regular basis, such as branches, shoots, buds, etc. The overall goal of pruning should be that of extending the lifecycle of the plant.
Most pruning is a simple do it yourself job, and it’s very important …..
Why do I need to prune?
- To promote healthy development - removing the old, dying or weak branches from the trees/shrubs will allow the structure to become stronger and flowering to become more prolific leaving your with a more healthy and disease free plant.
- To help maintain the ornamental appearance – Removing damaged or wayward shoots will stop the branches from becoming unnecessarily entangled and messy.
- To remove diseased or dying wood - Essential, and will make the tree/shrub less appealing for insects to live within.
- To control height and shape – If you are looking to keep certain plants, such as climbers or vigorous growing shrubs from becoming unmanageable, then regular and hard pruning will be a must.
- To promote flowering and fruiting –pruning back helps to improve flowering and air circulation. With fruit trees in particular this should result in a much better and larger crop year on year.
- To identify problems – By keeping regular pruning you will in turn identify any potential problems which may occur from time to time.