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The Dutchess DIYer

Learn how to properly care for your property, discover tell-all signs of maintenance needs

and how to become a better homeowner.

  • Dutchess Lawns

How To Prune Trees And Shrubs

Pruning means cutting back

When the trees start to look disheveled, it's time to fix them with a cut. Pruning allows healthy branches to have room to grow. The roots of plants can provide more nutrition since there is less to feed. Pruning also allows a tree or shrub to focus on flowering and produce fruit or nuts, not just leaves. Also, pruning also eliminates weak branches that can be a place for diseases to enter. Follow these easy steps to learn how you can prune your trees and shrubs.

Prune in the inactive phases

The time to remove your pruning shears is in winter or very early in spring when the trees are inactive, and the new shoots have not yet formed. In winter, when there are no leaves or flowers, it is easier to get a better idea of the shape of the plant. In the spring, after they have budded the leaves, you can remove any shoot you see around the base, but do not prune the rest of the tree or shrub because the new leaves are too young to replenish the energy that is required with pruning. If you have shrubs that bloom in spring, pollinate them after the flowering has completely disappeared. If they bloom in the summer, poll them in late winter or early spring.

Observe the weather

It is best to prune on a temperate and dry day so that rainy and cold conditions do not affect the newly pruned plant.

Thin out those branches

The idea is to remove parts that look weak, malformed, crossed or excessive. Branches will become more healthy since they do not have to compete so much for space and nutrients. Thinning the branches allows a larger part of the tree or shrub to absorb the sun's rays and helps control the shape. It can also prevent the tree from growing too much for the space it must occupy in the ornamental garden and invade that of other plants.

Where to cut

Prune the trees and shrubs to the main trunk or another branch. You can also prune any bud out. Be sure to use sharp pruning shears and cut with the scissor blade starting as close to the branch as possible; In other words, do not hit the plant, avoid cutting like it was hacking. If you are pruning to reduce the size, be sure to give it a more natural looking shape by cutting the branches of different sizes.

Follow the direction of the tree

Observe what trees and shrubs do in the growing season after pruning them. The way they grow (or do not grow) will guide you the next time you prune them. Always follow the way the plant wants to grow naturally.

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