With spring around the corner, it is time to wake up the trees & plants in your backyard with pruning. Effective pruning ensures that woody plants in your garden, like trees & shrubs, grow healthily. But poor-quality pruning can hinder or even kill a plant’s growth. It is why you should know the proper way for tree and shrub pruning.
If you have just started to indulge your green thumb, don’t worry. Here, we will discuss effective ways to prune trees & shrubs in your garden to maximize their growth.
Steps For Tree and Shrub Pruning
⇒ Tools you will require for pruning
Before you start pruning the plants in your garden, you will need the following tools to ensure proper pruning.
- Hand pruners
- Pruning saws
- Hedge shears
- Hedge trimmer
Pro Tip: Make sure that you clean your tools and check the blades for sharpness before starting the pruning session.
⇒ Tree Pruning
While trees require relatively less pruning, sometimes, it is necessary to do corrective pruning on the trees to remove dead & decaying branches. And to avoid property damage due to poor tree maintenance.
To prune trees, you should start by pruning the side branches towards the main branch or trunk of the tree. But make sure not to cut out the collar of the branches, which is vital for their healing.
You should use a pruning saw. And a bow saw while pruning large tree branches ( more than 1½ In diameter). But you can trim smaller tree limbs with a hand pruner. You can remove a branch in smaller trees by cutting it back to an outward bud.
To remove larger tree branches in 3 cuts, do this.
- Make the first cut underneath the branch about 7-12 inches away from the trunk and only cut a quarter way through.
- Then, make the second cut 3-4 inches away from the first cut on the upper side of the branch. It will make the branch fall due to its weight.
- Make the final cut downward & outward, perpendicular to the limb of the tree, as close to the tree trunk as possible, without damaging the branch collar.
Pro Tip: Avoid applying tree paint to pruning cuts, as they have no beneficial value and may lead to fungal infections.
⇒ Shrub Pruning
Before you start pruning the shrubs, you should have an idea of why you are doing it. The most prominent reason for shrub pruning is to prevent the inward growth of the plant.
You can use loopers and hand pruners to cut the crossing branches back to the base of the shrub but avoid cutting too near the base.
- Start by cutting toward an outward bud as these buds stimulate new growth. Leave about ½-1 inch distance between the cut and the bud.
- To prevent water from accumulating on the bud through the cut. You should cut at an angle that slants down and away from the bud.
- While trimming a larger branch, cut back to the spot where a new branch emerges from the branch you are trimming.
What Should You Prune?
Pruning helps improve the structure and growth of plants, but only when you prune properly. When you are pruning, you should try to prune as little as you can. In fact, for smaller plants, you should only trim up to 25% and just 10% for older plants. The following are Some common things that you should prune from your plants.
- Diseased or dying branches.
- Branches growing inwards or downwards.
- Suckers and water sprouts that are growing out of the plant.
- You should prune young trees and shrubs such that it stimulates the growth of new buds and encourages a more open branch structure.
- Similarly, for older plants, pruning will help promote the new vigorous growth of fruits and flowers and prevent decay & disease.
Is Hiring Professionals For Tree & Shrub Pruning Worth It?
You can prune the plants in your garden without any difficulty, but if you want your plants perfectly trimmed, you should consider hiring professional tree services, as it has many advantages, like
- Experts know the proper ways to prune and trim plants.
- While using sharp pruning tools, there is a risk of injury. As professionals have years of experience using these tools, there is no risk of injury.
- Buying all the equipment and tools for pruning can cost a lot. But professionals can provide the same services at an affordable rate.
So yes, hiring professionals for tree and shrub pruning is worth it.