The main reason gardeners prune their trees and shrubs is to improve their garden’s or yard’s appearance. But there are many other good reasons for pruning. Before you get your sharp tools out, be sure that you know just why you should be pruning and how to do it the right way so that you don’t damage your plants. If not, then you’re likely prone to accidentally killing them. Take note that the best time to prune depends on the kind of trees and shrubs you have. Make sure not to prune your plants at a season when they are greatly vulnerable.
Here Are Why You Should Be Pruning Your Trees and Shrubs
Before you do your thing, here are some benefits you get from pruning the plants in your yard or garden that you should know:
To ensure safety
Pruning is the best way you can control how your shrubs and trees grow. Do you notice any awkward or stray branches? You can reshape a tree’s structure so that it wouldn’t pose a danger to all that’s near. Heavy, broken branches, limbs, or the tree itself can fall, affecting not just people, pets, or property near it but also the power or telephone lines.
To reshape for better appearance
As mentioned, most gardeners aim to reshape their trees and shrubs to improve the overall appearance of their yard or garden. Simply getting rid of the dead, unwanted branches can already make a great difference.
To influence how plants grow
Maintaining the structural integrity of a tree is crucial so that its weight stays properly distributed. Improper weight distribution from straying branches can lead to the tree’s disaster later on. You can prune it the right way to arrange the limbs and branches according to the tree’s ideal structure.
To improve the plants’ health
Any branches that are injured, diseased, dead, or dying should be removed. This type of pruning helps improve the health of your trees. Other issues to look for are the “topping” trees where the branches are rubbing together. This is dangerous to the trees as it makes them susceptible to pests, leading to their slow death.
To restrict their size
Especially if you live in a small space, you may want to restrict the size of your plants. Pruning lets you keep the shrubs and trees from outgrowing the container, yard, or garden. If your plant is in a container, root pruning will work best.
To help them grow vigorously
If you see any weak-growing sections of your shrubs, doing plenty of pruning can pinch their growth. Prune any growing shoot to invigorate new production. For your fruit trees, pruning can encourage the growth of flowers in the branches; hence, stimulating fruit production. This also keeps your fruits away from diseases and helps them ripen much quickly.
The Right Ways to Prune Your Plants
While pruning gives huge benefits to your trees and shrubs, it can also counter effect when done improperly. Here are the right ways to prune:
Remember to prune at the right season
Proper timing can greatly help keep your plants healthy and productive. Some may claim that all pruning be done in spring or late fall. But the truth is, the right season to prune depends on the kind of shrubs and trees you have in your backyard.
Use the correct tools
There aren’t many tools pruning demand, especially if you select the right ones. What’s important is that you choose those with sharp edges, relatively easy to use or sharpen, and can do their job very well.
You will need shears. Anvil cut and scissor action are the most commonly used. Remember that most pruning shears can only effectively cut stems of up to 1/2 inch in diameter, so don’t attempt to cut larger branches. Leave the use of pole pruners, hedge shears, and pruning saws to tree experts, as these tools can be hazardous to beginners.
Transplant young trees the right way
During the transplanting, don’t prune excessively. While before, it was believed that pruning up to 1/3 of top growth could compensate for the root loss, it can actually decrease the plant’s energy to maintain a healthy root system.
Know how to prune mature trees
The best you can do is to prune the smaller branches that you can reach from the ground. However, never attempt to trim large and higher branches when you don’t have the proper climbing skills and equipment.
Prune shrubs according to their type
Deciduous and flower shrubs, narrow-leaved evergreens, broad-leaved evergreens—make sure to determine first what kind of shrubs you have as they require different pruning ways.
When it comes to pruning, do what you’re able to, but don’t go too far when you can’t. Best leave it to certified arborists for your safety.