1. What is Pruning?
In its simplest form, pruning is simply cutting back the branches of bushes, shrubs and trees.
2. Why Prune?
There are a number of reasons to prune bushes, shrubs or trees:
- To reduce or maintain shape
- To get rid of dead, diseased and weak material that will be susceptible to disease
- To allow good air circulation to avoid mildew or other fungal disease
- To encourage growth which most pruning will do.
3. What not to Prune
Pruning experts suggest some plants respond well to little or no pruning and form a good shape left to their own, such as some magnolias, ornamental cherries, Japanese maples and daphnes.
Plants not to prune at all tend to be Berberis, Rhododendron etc.
I suppose the most general comment one can make is don’t prune plants at the wrong time of the year. Here is where we move into controversial areas with differing ideas coming from different gardening ‘experts’ (of which I am not one! I am an enthusiast who simply wants to encourage others to be enthusiasts)
It is possible with a handful of gardening books to work out when is the best time to prune certain plants, but for the table below we have to thank that patriarch of gardening, Alan Titchmarsh and Gardening World magazine. For a monthly virtual mini-encyclopaedia of gardening, we don’t think this magazine can be beaten and, as we’ve said elsewhere, if you’re a Tesco shopper it doesn’t take many vouchers to take out an annual subscription. It’s really worth doing.