your trees and shrubs is a very important part of any maintenance
program for your landscape. By pruning on a regular basis you can avoid
excessive pruning on overgrown plants.
are five important reasons to prune trees and shrubs. First, pruning
increases light and air circulation within the canopy. Secondly,
pruning also can be used to increase the amount of fruit or flowers on
a plant. Thirdly, removing unsightly suckers or water-sprouts is
another reason to prune. Returning a plant to its natural growth habit
is needed in some cases, certain plants need to be pruned when
overgrown. One example of this is the lilac. Finally, pruning can also
be used to maintain the size and shape of a plant within the landscape.
plants can only be pruned at specific times of the year. Most plants
can be placed into categories based on their characteristics. Plants
that flower in the spring should be pruned after flowering and before
setting buds for the next season. Because they flower early in the
spring, buds will develop on the previous year's growth. Pruning before
flowering will not generally injure the plant but will usually see a
reduction in the amount of flowering. Plants that flower in the summer
should be pruned during the months in which the plant is dormant,
before new growth appears. Because the buds occur on current season's
growth, pruning after growth begins could decrease floral development.
Cedars, junipers, spruce and pine may be pruned at any time of the
year. Shorten shoot length (candling) during growth in early summer for
best results. Deciduous trees can be pruned at almost any time. Avoid
spring pruning as bleeding may occur. Generally this will not harm the
tree but can be unsightly.
pruning a tree or shrub, never leave a stub after making the cut. Cut
back to a bud or just outside the branch collar. Never remove more than
1/3 of the canopy when pruning. Never make cuts flush; these cuts
remove the closing-off mechanism of the plant and will have a hard time
healing. Also, ensure your tools are of the proper size and are sharp.