Be strategic with your pruning

Know what you're cutting: You can prune in autumn to promote growth, but different rules apply to different species. Some respond well and get bushier, others have already got their spring buds so don't go cutting them off.
Know what you're cutting: You can prune in autumn to promote growth, but different rules apply to different species. Some respond well and get bushier, others have already got their spring buds so don't go cutting them off.

Pruning is a fairly straightforward thing to do in your garden, but as with all things in life it needs to be done in the right way to get the best results (or perhaps even to avert causing more problems than you solve).

You also need to remember to think safety first.

Tools need to be sharp in order to be effective, so that also means being careful.

Wearing leather gloves also greatly lowers the chance of doing your hands or fingers too much damage whether you’re using secateurs or a powered hedge trimmer.

Also, cover you eyes with something for when – not if – something flicks you in the face. Sunnies, or your prescription glasses, will probably do when using shears, but put on something that can protect you from a high-velocity strike when using, or even if you’re near, anything operated by power. Don’t forget hearing protection when it’s needed too.

As for the pruning itself, there are some simple principals to follow.

This advertising feature has been supported by the following business: Mt. Murray Nursery

Common rookie error: Use the right tool for the job, and ensure it is sharp, to get clean cuts that will heal faster and lower the risk of letting in a disease.

Common rookie error: Use the right tool for the job, and ensure it is sharp, to get clean cuts that will heal faster and lower the risk of letting in a disease.

  • When cutting branches off a tree, go close to the trunk, but not so close you damage the trunk itself.
  • Always ensure you do clean cuts. These heal faster and limit the potential for disease getting into the tree. or bush. This means using sharp tools as well as the right one for the job.
  • The general rule is don’t cut off more than a third of a plant. You mainly just want to remove dead and diseased wood. 
  • Similarly, be mindful of the fact that some species of plants have already set their buds ready for spring, so identify what is what before cutting too many bits off.
BE SMART: Cutting tools need to be sharp to do their job properly. That also means take the safety seriously and wear appropriate gloves as the absolute minimum.

BE SMART: Cutting tools need to be sharp to do their job properly. That also means take the safety seriously and wear appropriate gloves as the absolute minimum.

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