Do’s and Don’ts of Pruning

Pruning shrubs and hedges is essential to keeping your plants healthy. However, it is not as simple as cutting off branches randomly with anything you can find. Below are several do’s and don’ts of pruning correctly:

1. Do make your cuts selectively

While good pruning cuts can stimulate growth, improper pruning can leave your plants in shock and ultimately kill them. For this reason, you must be careful about the cuts you make. Remove injured wood from your plant, and prune just above a healthy bud at a 45-degree angle.

2. Don’t prune in late fall

Winter will push your plant into hibernation and halt the growth process. Pruning too late in the season will not give new growth enough time to harden, leaving it weak, particularly in colder weather.

3. Do get rid of diseased branches immediately

As branches die or become diseased, you should remove them right away. By removing the branch, you are not only protecting the health of the plant, but you are letting it conserve energy for new growth.

4. Don’t use the wrong tools

When it comes to pruning, use specific tools that are designed to get the job done without damaging your plant. Don’t use scissors or attempt to cut low branches with a shovel. Furthermore, you should maintain those tools so they stay sharp and free of rust. Dull blades will damage the branches on your plants.