Pruning Properly

Jr. Batty  |  1/13/2011 4:21:38 AM

Plenty of people are preparing to prune plants promptly, perhaps not properly. That’s a pack of p’s, isnt it? But the fact remains, proper pruning is a skill/ art and more often neglected by most gardeners. On the other hand, making the right cuts at the right time can keep your plants growing uniform and healthy.

Prune according to these 4 D’s. Pruning is done to remove:
  • dead
  • diseased
  • dying
  • decaying wood.

You can also prune to manage plant size or to rejuvenate old plants.

When pruning, first remove weak and spindly wood inside or near the ground. Next reduce the height of the plant to the desired level by making cuts at various levels, always keeping in mind the natural form of the plant. One rule for cutting cane-type plants is to remove one-third of the oldest and tallest canes near the ground each year. This will keep the height of the plant at a reasonable level.

Finally, no rules cover all pruning. The important consideration should be preserving the natural form of a particular species. The extent of annual pruning will depend on the plant. Some shrubs may require the removal of a considerable amount of wood each year, while others require little pruning. It is much better to prune lightly each year rather than severally butcher a plant after several years’ growth. Just remember to prune properly, punctually and practically. Then proudly proclaim, "PERFECT!"

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