I learnt how to prune when I started landscaping a couple of years ago.  And today, I attended a pruning workshop to brush up on my knowledge of proper pruning techniques.

Pruning is done for the following reasons:

  • to remove dead, diseased and damaged branches from a shrub or tree.
  • to thin out a thick shrub to allow more light and air to filter into the center of the plant in order to prevent disease and stimulate new growth (a process known as photosynthesis).
  • remove branches of trees that are close to power lines or walkways.
  • add shape to a tree or shrub and control its size.

The facilitator mentioned that winter and summer are the best times for pruning, though pruning can be done at any time of the year.  The best time to prune flowering shrubs is after they have finished blooming.

Winter pruning heavily depends on climate.  It’s ideal for warm and temperate climates.  I happen to live in a region (the only region in Canada) that receives little — and sometimes no — snow in the winter months, so pruning can be done.  Bear in mind, pruning spring blooming shrubs in the winter can reduce that plant’s blooms.

Bottom line: before pruning a tree or shrub, know the reason for pruning and intended outcome while keeping that tree or shrub’s health and longevity in mind.

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