taking the cut!

Taking a Cut

Gardeners often spend hours pruning their trees and shrubs in order to control size and shape, but pruning can do more than dictate a plant’s stature. Regular selective pruning, or maintenance pruning, is also a way to keep woody plants healthy and productive. One aim of maintenance pruning is to protect your woody plants from pests and disease, which can gain entry into a plant through dead wood, broken branches, and wounds caused by branches that are rubbing together. By thoughtfully cutting back tips, branches, limbs, and stems, you can also encourage youthful growth that produces abundant flowers and fruits as well as prevent the spread of pests and disease. Know­ing where to begin with maintenance pruning can seem overwhelming since there are so many different trees and shrubs to consider. But by following three basic guidelines- knowing what, where, and when to cut – you will be successful in all of your pruning endeavours.

  • When to Prune – Most deciduous plants (plants that lose their leaves in winter) should be pruned while they are dormant or have no leaves. This is usually in winter. Make sure that you prune these plants at the end of winter and not too early.

  • What to Prune – Cut out dead or diseased branches. Make sure you cut it at least 5cm into the healthy wood. This way you can prevent the disease spreading into the rest of the plant. Thin out branches that are too close together and that are rubbing against each other. Always keep the healthiest branches and cut out the less healthy ones.

  • How to Prune – Make sure that your tools are always cleaned to make sure that you don’t spread disease from one plant to another. When you cut a branch make sure you cut the branch at an angle just above the node of the branch.


Always remember to feed plants after they have been pruned in order to encourage new growth.

Join us this week Friday for our FREE online workshop on Pruning, with Garden Guru Sue Both. This week’s prize will be sponsored by Lasher.

Please use the following login details to join us at 11am sharp over Zoom:
Meeting ID: 886 8649 0265 | Passcode: 578092 or use the following direct link: