If you are a gardener, then you probably know that the process of pruning your plants will help to keep them healthy and looking good. If you prune your plants, they will grow much faster and in better condition. Pruning involves cutting off dead leaves and/or branches, as well as other unwanted forms on the plant. Let’s take a deeper look into plant pruning.
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Most trees will need to be pruned during certain times of the year. It is usually when they are in a dormant season, which is late fall and winter. Shrubs with spring blooming times should only be pruned after the flower fades, while summer blooming shrubs should be pruned in early spring.
Pruning puts stress on trees and lends them vulnerable to disease, as well as, insects. Pruning basically wounds the plant, but the plant’s wounds seal. You should be cautious as to how much you do prune. While it is important to prune unwanted branches, you must protect the stem or the trunk of the tree when doing so.
There are several tools available to accomplish your pruning chores. Hand pruning shears work well when cutting stems. Lopping shears are able to cut branches up to 1 3/4 inches wide and they have long handles for a longer reach. Pruning saws can remove stems, which cannot be cut with hand pruners, or lopping shears. Pole pruning shears are for the hard to reach branches. And chain saws are for branches exceeding 3 inches in diameter.
It is important to know what you are doing when pruning. Improper pruning can turn a healthy tree into a weakened and deformed one. You should use sharp tools that can make clean, smooth cuts. Never leave stubs and if possible, never tear off a piece of bark. It is better not to prune at all than to prune incorrectly.
There is a certain order to how you should prune. First eliminate any dead, broken or damaged limbs. These should be cut at their origin or back to a strong side branch or shoot. The next step is training cuts. By cutting back side branches, you can maintain a certain shape. Finally remove weak or narrow crotches.
There are three different types of pruning for trees. Crown thinning is the removal of certain branches to increase light diffusion and air movement around the crown of the tree. Crown raising is the removal of branches from the bottom of the crown of the tree for clearance. Crown reduction is the removal of branches to reduce the height of a tree.
There are also three different types of pruning for shrubs and flowers. Thinning out allows for growth from sides of branches by removing a branch at its source from its parent or the ground.
Renewal pruning removes a couple of the oldest, tallest branches at or slightly above ground level. And rejuvenation pruning is performed on old, overgrown shrubs by removing 1/3 of its oldest branches at or slightly above ground level.
Pruning is a vital yet difficult task to perform. It takes knowledge on how to make the cuts and where to make them. It takes time to examine which limbs or branches need to be removed. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you will ruin your tree or shrub. But, when you do know what you’re doing, you will enhance its appearance and health.
Pruning involves cutting off dead leaves and/or branches, as well as other unwanted forms on the plant. Let’s take a deeper look into plant pruning.
By: Matthew Hick