Pruning Made Easy

Guide to pruning made easy, including procedures for removing a large branch, pruning fruit plants, deciduous bushes, hedges and trees.

| February/March 2003

  • A guide to pruning made easy.
    A guide to pruning made easy.
    Photo by Rick Wetherbee
  • Saw through from the top, opposite of your first cut, until the branch is free to fall to the ground.
    Saw through from the top, opposite of your first cut, until the branch is free to fall to the ground.
    Photo by Neil Soderstrom
  • Saw off the stub just beyond the raised collar of bark where the branch attaches to the trunk.
    Saw off the stub just beyond the raised collar of bark where the branch attaches to the trunk.
    Photo by Neil Soderstrom
  • Undercut one-quarter of the way through the branch to prevent the bark from ripping when the branch falls.
    Undercut one-quarter of the way through the branch to prevent the bark from ripping when the branch falls.
    Photo by Neil Soderstrom
  • No matter what type of plant you're pruning, use sharp tools. Cut away stems or branches that are diseased, dead or damaged to encourage new, healthy growth.
    No matter what type of plant you're pruning, use sharp tools. Cut away stems or branches that are diseased, dead or damaged to encourage new, healthy growth.
    Photo by Steve Nikkila
  • This photo shows the correct finished cut, flush with the collar.
    This photo shows the correct finished cut, flush with the collar.
    Photo by Neil Soderstrom
  • New bark will grow out from the bark collar to cover the cut.
    New bark will grow out from the bark collar to cover the cut.
    Photo by Neil Soderstrom
  • Pruning a newly planted deciduous tree.
    Pruning a newly planted deciduous tree.
    Courtesy of Taunton Press
  • Trimming the roots of a bare-root tree.
    Trimming the roots of a bare-root tree.
    Courtesy of Taunton Press
  • New wood gradually replaces old wood, and growth fills in at the base of the plant.
    New wood gradually replaces old wood, and growth fills in at the base of the plant.
    Courtesy of Taunton Press

  • A guide to pruning made easy.
  • Saw through from the top, opposite of your first cut, until the branch is free to fall to the ground.
  • Saw off the stub just beyond the raised collar of bark where the branch attaches to the trunk.
  • Undercut one-quarter of the way through the branch to prevent the bark from ripping when the branch falls.
  • No matter what type of plant you're pruning, use sharp tools. Cut away stems or branches that are diseased, dead or damaged to encourage new, healthy growth.
  • This photo shows the correct finished cut, flush with the collar.
  • New bark will grow out from the bark collar to cover the cut.
  • Pruning a newly planted deciduous tree.
  • Trimming the roots of a bare-root tree.
  • New wood gradually replaces old wood, and growth fills in at the base of the plant.

Pruning made easy, these helpful tips will guide you when pruning plants, shrubs, hedges and trees.

Guide to Pruning Made Easy

Do you nip with caution when pruning a plants Or do you ruthlessly attack? No matter what approach you take, sometimes you just have to prune your plants. Here are the most basic pruning principles to follow for fruit-producing plants, other deciduous trees and shrubs, and evergreens.

Removing a Large Branch

Use sharp tools no matter what type of plant you're pruning. Sharp tools make cleaner cuts that heal more quickly. Make cuts on an angle and just above a node, where the leaf attaches to the stem.

If you want to encourage branching, use heading cuts to shorten existing stems. If you want to open an area to light and air, use thinning cuts to completely remove some stems.



On any plant, if you find stems or branches that are dead, diseased or damaged, always cut them down to healthy tissue. That said, let's move on to pruning guidelines for various categories of plants.

Pruning Fruit Trees

Pruning is most critical for fruit trees. Young fruit trees need a strong framework on which to hang their fruits and to ensure their branches bask in plenty of sugar-producing sunlight. Pruning fruit plants lessens disease problems and, by removing some fruits, pumps more flavor and size into those that remain. With few exceptions, prune fruit plants while they are dormant.






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard
Free Product Information Classifieds

}