01 July 2021

Tips on Pruning for Your Gardening

A major factor required to have and maintain a beautiful and healthy garden is pruning. For an amateur, this process may not only be physically draining but could be quite tasking mentally. This is because a lot of mental planning and preparation is necessary for this process to be successfully carried out. 

The information which we will discuss in this article will help you prepare and plan for the maintenance and care of your garden so that it will give you years and years of beauty and function. Let us begin with the basics.

Pruning – Definition 

Pruning is a procedure where some plant parts like the buds, branches, and so on are selectively removed. This is done to serve both landscaping and horticultural purposes. You can find the definition here.

Reasons for Pruning 

Knowing how and when to prune your garden is very important. However, what is more important is understanding why this practice has to be done in the first place. This will give you a clearer vision of what you need to achieve. The reasons for pruning are several, however, here are some of the most important ones:

  • It helps to maintain your plant’s health. During this process, you would cut off dying, damaged, diseased, or dead wood, and take off rubbing and crossing branches. This would ensure that the plant remains healthy. 
  • It helps to control the size of the garden plants. 
  • A well-pruned garden’s ornamental features like the fruits and flowers will be accentuated. 
  • It would help you maintain the desired shape you want for the plant. 

Time to Prune 

If you prune your plants when the time is not right, you may get a highly undesirable outcome. Usually, the time to do this procedure is determined by some key factors, like the plant’s type, how much pruning is needed, and the desired result. 

If you want to simply remove dead, diseased, or damaged parts of the plant then the pruning can be carried out any time. 

Prune shrubs and trees either during the latter part of winter or very early in spring (March-April), that is, before new growth begins. 

If you have plants that flower during the last season’s wood-like rhododendrons, lilacs, and fruit trees, then you need to prune them in once blooming is over. This will help maximize the flooring of the next season. 

For better clarification, let us discuss the months in the year and what to prune at such times…

1. February to April

If you have some summer shrubs, then this is the best period to prune them. That is before the spring’s bud break. If you do not have some summer shrubs in your garden, then we only wonder why you can also prune your fruit trees and evergreens during this period. 

2. May to June 

This is the period to prune your spring shrubs such as azalea, rhododendrons, forsythia, Pieris (Andromeda), Spiraea, Lilac, and so on. 

3. June to July 

June to July is the perfect period for thinning most shade trees (deciduous trees) like linden, oaks, maples, birch, crap apple, spruces, plum, honey locust, willow, flowering cherry, and so on. Ensure you do the pruning before the new shoots become fully grown and turn woody. Prune the hedges to retain clean lines. 

4. August to December 

This period of the year is not such a great time for pruning. We would advise that you still just removing damaged or dead branches at this time. This is because; heavy pruning during this period can stimulate new growth. These new growths may then be unable to mature on time for the winter, causing them to be vulnerable to frost damages. 

Pruning Hydrangea 

Pruning Hydrangeas can be quite confusing because the guidelines for the various species common to Long Island are different. Visit https://www.bhg.com/gardening/trees-shrubs-vines/shrubs/best-hydrangeas/ and find out how to choose the best hydrangea for your garden. Below are some of the guidelines for specific species. 

  • H.serrata and H.macrophylla: these species of hydrangeas are said to be summer bloomers, however, they behave like spring shrubs and set flower buds in the previous year. So, you would need to: 

1. Your pruning during early spring should be reduced to just thinning practices and removing deadwood. Reducing the height is completely unadvisable during this period because you would be cutting the season’s flower buds off. 

2. Pruning to control the plant’s size should be done in mid or late July. At this period, the bloom should have started drying. You will have to sacrifice the beautiful effect of dried flowers if you do this, but this is how to control these species’ size. Ensure you do not wait until August as this would be too late. 

  • H.petiolaris and H.quercifolia: To control shape and size, prune after flowering. 
  • H.paniculata and H.arborescens: these react well to both light and hard pruning. 

Pruning Hedges 

Follow these special notes when you prune your hedges:

  • Allow your hedges to get a bit bigger than you trimmed the previous time. Trimming them to the previous spot each trim time will shorten or weaken each plant’s longevity. 
  • With hedges, shapes are very important, the base or bottom always have to be wide or even wider than its top. This way, sunlight will be allowed to get to all the leaves, it will also prevent ice buildup or snow damage. 

Methods of Pruning 

The following are the various methods of pruning:

1. Thinning 

This is used to reduce live branches density. And for your information, Japanese knives can be used for this method since you are working on garden shrubs. This method is done so that sunlight and air can get into the plant’s inner parts.

2. Cleaning 

This involves just removing diseased, dead, and broken stems and branches. This method is best for established or mature plants. 

3. Reducing 

This is used to decrease either the width or height of plants. The essence of this method is to make the plant tidier and more attractive. However, this method is not so great for some shrubs and plants, so always consider the health and species of your plants before you do this. 


The pruning tips discussed in this article will help you maintain the function and beauty of your garden.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Talk to me!