Pruning

This technique causes more consternation among gardeners than any other. The whole point of pruning is to improve the plant’s shape or performance and also to control growth. In order to do this, you need to have some understanding of basic botany.
Close-up of well-pruned stem (below) Twining stems of plants such as wisteria can only (wise around supports of up tn I in. diameter and need to I lied (thicker supports that they are unable to grip, Once you grasp the principles, you will be able to relate the techniques to a range of different plants in your garden.
You also need to he aware that books on pruning have mainly been written by dedicated enthusiasts determined to get the absolute maximum performance from the plant. If you are not looking for show quality but simply a reasonable performance from the particular plant, you can be less stringent about your pruning techniques.
Controlling vigor.
If your main goal in pruning is to control a plant’s excessive growth, you might need instead to consider the suitability of the plant for its setting. Why grow a giant that puts on large amounts of growth each year if you do not have the space to let it have its head? A hedge of Leyland presses that have had their tops chopped off is a pitiful sight, since they do not look attractive once they have lost their conical shape. If you want a 6-ft. high hedge,
you are better oil exercising patience and choosing slower-growing plants that can be kept to this height without loo much difficulty.
In fact, with man) shrubs, pruning promotes rather than reduces growth: so although you may succeed in reducing the size ol the shrub in the season you prune it, the next year you may be laced with an even more vigorous specimen that bears more shoots.

Principles of pruning

The main thing to understand is that plants have a built-in reproductive system that works as follows: if you cut oil the plants leading shoot (from which it will eventually form Mowers and seeds), you set in a motion a secondary stem, whereby the branches lower down are galvanized into activity to do the work of the removed leading shoot. As you can probably visualize, this then changes the shape of the plant from one with a strong, tall central stem to one with a more branching appearance, which you may prefer,
If you follow this principle on an apple tree, vou will find that if you remove the leading shoot, you Well-pruned climber
DEADHEADING
If you remove dead flowers regularly, thereby preventing them from forming seeds, you will encourage side shoots to flower.
Trimming spent flowers Remove these using either a good pair of garden
or sharp shears. Phis will improve the appearance of (lie plant and prolong the flowering .season, because new buds are encouraged to form.
Reasons for pruning
get more secondary shoots. II the fruit “rows on these secondary shoots, you increase the opportunity for more fruit to grow. The same applies to plants grown for their I lowers: you increase the shooting ability of the plant and inevitable increase its I lowering performance. In order to create a strong framework of branches, you need to prune ever) year.
When to prune
Some shrubs produce their flowers on the current seasons new wood, others on the wood in previous seasons. To make matters more complicated, not even species in a particular genus performs in the same way. her example, in the Befuddle genus, orange hall tree [Befuddle globular) needs barely and pinning, summer lilac flowers on new-season’s wood and should he pruned in early spring, and fountain butterfly bush (B. alterni-folia) flowers on the previous vcar’s wood and should be pruned after flowering in summer. The right timing is crucial to ensuring that you promote the growth of the new shoots that will bear the current seasons flowers.
The best times to prune, therefore, are after flowering on any plant that will flower the following year on the growth made this year; for plants that flower on the current season’s growth, no later than the end of winter or early spring. II you get this timing the wrong way round, and prune a plant that flowers on the previous season’s growth in late winter or early spring, you will remove the current season’s crop of flowers and have to wait a year for the next display.
The major reasons for pruning a tree or shrub are to increase the fruiting or flowering performance or to improve the health and vigor of a plant. It is also clone to make the shape of the plant more pleasing.
Plants that have been subjected to difficult growing conditions lend to be more prone to disease, and these problems can also be introduced by injury. It therefore makes good sense to prune back hard if the plant has suffered because of the climate or as a result of some other problem, and to remove broken or damaged shoots before any viral or infectious diseases can take advantage of the exposed tissue. Such shoots are best removed close to the main stem in a cut that is angled
outwards, to allow any water to drain off rather than soak into the plant.

A well-staked young tree, showing the unpruned growth put on during the first year
after planting.
get more secondary shoots. II the fruit “rows on these secondary shoots, you increase the opportunity for more fruit to grow. The same applies to plants grown for their I lowers: you increase the shooting ability of the plant and inevitable increase its I lowering performance. In order to create a strong framework of branches, you need to prune ever) year.

GOOD PRUNING CUTS
Make pruning cuts cleanly and in the right position to prevent
diseases from entering the pruning wound. Prune plants with
alternate buds just above an outward-facing bud to encourage the
new shoot to grow away from the center of the plant.
1 A good cut at 45 degrees, cut with sharp shears just above (he hud.
2 A poor pruning cut with ragged edges, cut too far away from the bod.

The major reasons for pruning a tree or shrub are to increase the fruiting or flowering performance or to improve the health and vigor of a plant. It is also clone to make the shape ol the plant more pleasing.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s