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    When To Prune

    by Administrator 6. October 2012 10:56


    When to Prune

    Plants, shrubs and trees can benefit greatly from pruning and regular maintenance, but only if done correctly. Some greenery, for example, shouldn’t be pruned before the 30-day growth period, and others should only be pruned while in their dormant growth period. Knowing when to prune is key. If done incorrectly, new buds can be pruned away with the old, and you can stunt growth periods. If done correctly, on the other hand, you can improve growth; think of it like maintenance to a car, for example.

    Three common pruning misconceptions are as follows:

     1. Pruning will not contain a plant that’s in a space too large for it. If the space is too large or small for the plant, it needs re-potted or set, not pruned.
     2. Pruning does not slow or stunt plant growth. In fact, it accelerates growth and density.
     3. Pruning does not alter the overall form of a plant. For example, if a plant naturally grows in a column formation, you can’t prune it to grow otherwise.

    Knowing the common pruning mistakes helps gardeners avoid damaging plants when pruning.

    Some common pruning mistakes are as follows:

           1. Topping trees and shrubs is a major mistake; it will result in a witches’ broom effect. This effect means many small twigs and branches are growing in the same area. Cutting all branches back to their original height also causes this.
     2. Pruning causes buds to break. If pruning is done late in the growing season, the new shoots do not have adequate time to harden off for winter and dieback is likely.
     3. Painting plants or dressing pruning cuts is unnecessary and may actually cause harm. Ultraviolet rays in sunlight are nature's disinfectant. The paint or dressing may seal disease organisms in and protect the organisms from the UV rays.
     4. Pruning flush against the trunk destroys the tissue in the branch collar or ridge. This is the tissue that grows over the wound, sealing it naturally.

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