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Pruning Techniques for an Explosion of Blooms and Growth

Pruning is an important practice if you want to maintain healthy trees and increase blooms and growth. Removing dead or dying branches will help to prevent disease, reduce the risk of insect infestation and prevent storm damage to the tree. Pruning is also important for encouraging the development of flowers and fruit.

Pruning Tips
  • Trees should be pruned every year to maintain health and increase blooms and growth.

  • Use the correct tool so that you don't damage the tree. Which one you use will depend on the thickness of the branches you are removing. For small branches pruning shears or loppers are perfectly adequate. Thicker branches will require a fine-toothed pruning saw.

  • The best time of year for pruning trees and shrubs is late winter while the tree is still dormant, because it minimizes the exposure of fresh wounds. Evergreens should also be trimmed in late winter to reduce damage. Once the new growing season begins these will be quickly sealed.

  • To prune a small branch, either cut it back to a side branch or about inch above a bud.

  • To prune a larger branch first find the branch collar. This grows from the tissue at the base of the branch. Make sure that when you prune, only wood on the branch side of the stem collar is removed. This will prevent the sub from decaying.

  • Prune scaffold branches to the same length so they will maintain the shape of the tree.

  • Do not top the tree. Cutting away large, older branches will leave behind stubs and this can lead to disease. It will also ruin the tree's natural shape, encourage the growth of suckers, and create a weak branch system.