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Tips On Pruning

Pruning, defined as the removal of dead, living, or unnecessary parts from a plant, has many specific purposes. Done properly, pruning improves the health and appearance of the plants, shrubs, and trees in your garden and improves the quality their flower or fruit production as well. To prune the plants and shrubs in your garden properly, however, you must first be familiar with the reasons for pruning. The possible reasons for pruning include training a plant, shrub, or tree to grow in a specific shape or form, maintaining the plant’s overall health, improving the quality of the fruit or flower the plant produces, and restricting plant growth.

Examples of training a plant to grow in a certain shape or form can be seen everywhere. Bushes are often cut into a special pleasing shape or design and many plants are often trained to grow on a trellis, up a wall, or around poles. The health of a plant is also promoted by pruning because pruning often involves cutting off the limbs of plants that have been damaged by severe weather, insects, or disease. Also, when done at the right time, pruning helps a plant produce larger, more appealing, fruits or flowers (although, another occasional consequence of pruning is a reduced quantity of fruits and flowers). Finally, pruning is useful when you are trying to maintain a certain landscape appearance and, in order to do this, you must restrict the growth of certain plants.

Once you know the objective of pruning your garden, you can then proceed to the actual task. Naturally, a gardening task would not be complete without some basic tips, and pruning is no exception. It also follows that different plants require different techniques. Hedges, for example, can be categorized into two types – those that are grown intentionally close together to form a windbreak or a high screen and those that take on a more formal appearance such as Boxwood or Privet. For the first type, pruning should be limited to cutting away dead, dying, or diseased limbs and for controlling density. Pruning for the later type of hedge, on the other hand, requires more persistent cutting and clearing.

Perhaps it is because no single authority completely agrees on the proper way to prune roses, but they are among the simplest of plants to prune. The one rule that everyone does agree on for pruning roses is that you should always cut back on old nonproductive canes. Just be sure that you have some good quality gardening shears and a pair of heavy gardening gloves to protect your hands from the sharp thorns found on most types of roses.

Evergreens are another type of plant or tree that you will find it necessary to prune from time to time. While there are several different types of evergreens, the general rule of thumb is not to prune any of them too severely or too frequently. Shrubs and vines are also plants that require little pruning since they are usually planted for their beautiful color or for their ability to drape or screen objects.

Fruit trees probably require the most attention when it comes to pruning since proper pruning will help you grow trees that produce reliable, annual crops of large, juicy fruit. For this, your fruit trees must be pruned as they grow as well as annually.

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