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Pruning Tips and Techniques

comments (1) January 3rd, 2012 in blogs
Ruth Ruth
6 users recommend


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Pruning is an essential gardening skill. When you prune correctly, you encourage healthy growth and flowering (in the case of flowering plants), as well as good looks. For most shrubs and trees, it helps to prune at the right time. Some are best pruned in winter; some right after flowering.

Below you'll find links to pruning articles and videos on FineGardening.com and VegetableGardener.com on the following topics:

Pruning tools | Basic pruning techniques | Pruning shrubs and vines | Pruning trees | Pruning roses |  Pruning tomatoes and basil

The Pruning Book The ultimate guide to pruning strategies and techniques
In The Pruning Book, Lee Reich explains how to prune hundreds of plants. Whether you are new to gardening or a veteran of many seasons, you'll refer to this guide again and again.   Buy the book...

Pruning tools
Video: A Survey of Pruning Tools

Video: A Survey of Pruning Tools
Whatever you are pruning, the right tool makes all the difference. In this video, horticulturist Lee Reich examines an array of pruning implements. You'll learn what the tools do, and what to consider when shopping for a new hand pruner, lopper, saw, pole pruner, or hedge shears.   Watch the video... 
 

Video: How to Sharpen Pruners

Video: How to Sharpen Pruners
It's easier to prune with a sharp blade than a dull one, and a cleaner cut heals faster and more efficiently than one made with a dull blade. Lee Reich shows you how to sharpen a hand pruner.    Watch the video...

Sharpening Pruners

Sharpening Pruners
Arborist Melissa Levangie explains how to clean your pruners, then sharpen them using diamond files.   Read more...

 What are the best hand pruners?

What are the best hand pruners?
Fine Gardening editors and readers share their favorite brands.   Read more...

 

Basic pruning techniques

Video: Where to Cut

Video: Where to Cut
Where you make your pruning cuts makes a difference in how quickly they heal. In this video, Lee Reich, author of The Pruning Book, demonstrates best practices.   Watch the video... 

Maintenance Pruning

Maintenance Pruning
Regular pruning enhances the look and health of your garden. Get an overview on the benefits of maintenance pruning and a general idea of when to prune early- and late-flowering shrubs.   Read more... 

Video: Pinching Stem Tips

Video: Pinching Stem Tips
Pinching stem tips is a form of pruning that can make plants look neat, as well as encourage branching and bushier growth. This video will show you how the technique.   Watch the video... 

Video: Pinching Coleus

Video: Pinching Stems
Coleus and many other annuals and tender perennials tend to get leggy, but you can promote dense growth by pinching back the stems. Associate editor Michelle Gervais shows you what to do.   Watch the video...

Video: Root Pruning Container Plants

Video: Root Pruning Container Plants
If your container plant is rootbound, or just growing a little too vigorously for your liking, root pruning can help. It's a simple technique and a

Pruning shrubs and vines

Trimming a Formal Hedge

Trimming a Formal Hedge
A straight edge is the hallmark of a formally trimmed hedge, and in this article, John Sosnowski, horticulturist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, explains how he achieves this look using stakes and string as a guide. He also offers a list of shrubs that are suitable candidates for formal hedges.   Read more...     Watch the video...  

Pruning Subshrubs

Pruning Subshrubs
Subshrubs such as lavender, sage, thyme, and wormwood require special pruning techniques to keep them looking good. Timing is critical for ensuring healthy, dense growth.   Read more... 

 How to Prune Cane-Growing Shrubs

How to Prune Cane-Growing Shrubs
Cane-growing shrubs are shrubs that grow from multiple canes, not a single trunk. Examples are forsythia, viburnum, lilac, and spirea, among many others. Maintenance pruning keeps them shapely, but even for overgrown shrubs there's a remedy.   Read more...

Pruning Clematis

Pruning Clematis
Your clematis may be a spring bloomer, repeat bloomer, or late-season bloomer. Each type calls for a different pruning approach, and in this article, pruning guru Lee Reich explains what to do.   Read more... 

Pruning Crape Myrtles

Pruning Crape Myrtles
Many people plant crape myrtles for their vibrant summer color, few people prune them correctly. Find out how it should be done.   Read more...  

Pruning Tips for Heather

Pruning Tips for Heather
An annual pruning regimen will keep your heather from becoming ugly and unruly.   Read more...

Pruning Hollies

Pruning Hollies
Learn when and how to prune your hollies, whether you have deciduous, rounded, intermediate, or pyramidal plants.   Read more...

Pruning Hydrangea

Pruning Hydrangeas
First, determine if your hydrangea blooms on old wood (blooms appear in early summer and fade) or on new wood (blooms appear later and continue until frost). Then prune accordingly.   Read more....   Watch a video... 

Pruning Lilacs

Pruning Lilacs
Whether it's an ancient shrub or a vigorous young plant, all lilacs can benefit from some well-placed cuts.   Read more...
 

Three Ways to Prune Rhododendrons

Three Ways to Prune Rhododendrons
Find out how to maintain, shape, or rejuvenate rhododendrons to keep them healthy and attractive.   Read more...

Pruning and Training Wisteria

Pruning and Training Wisteria
Well-placed summer and winter cuts will keep this vigorous vine manageable.   Read more...

Pruning an Old Wisteria Vine

Pruning an Old Wisteria Vine
Drastic pruning will not kill an old wisteria. Quite the contrary: It will spur rapid new growth.   Read more...

 

Pruning trees

 Winter Pruning

Winter Pruning
What kind of pruning is safe to do in winter? Lee Reich gives an overview.   Read more... 

How to Prune Conifers

How to Prune Conifers
Conifers are not as forgiving as other garden shrubs and trees, so proper pruning is critical. Bert Cregg, an associate professor in the horticulture and forestry departments at Michigan State University, explains how to prune conifers with fan-like, flat, and bunched needles in this article and in the accompanying videos, linked below.   Read more...

Video: Pruning Conifers for Health

Video: Pruning Conifers for Health
Dead, diseased, or damaged branches should be removed when the problem arises.   Watch the video...

 Video: Pruning Arborvitae, Junipers, and Chaemaecyparis

Video: Pruning Arborvitae, Junipers, and Chamaecyparis
Conifers with fan-like needles will not form new growth on old wood, so judicious pruning is advised.   Watch the video... 

Video: Pruning Pines

Pruning Pines
Prune pine trees when they are actively growing.   Watch the video...

Pruning Firs, Douglas Firs, and Spruces

Pruning Firs, Douglas Firs, and Spruces
Control height and encourage fullness by pruning during dormancy.   Watch the video...  

How to Prune an Old Apple Tree How to Prune an Old Apple Tree
Pruning can bring an old apple tree back to health and let you reap the fruit of your labor. Find out how it should be done.   Read more...
Pruning Japanese Maples

Pruning Japanese Maples
The right cuts reveal a branch pattern that looks good with leaves or without.   Read more...

Pruning a Mt. Fuji Cherry Tree

Pruning a 'Mt. Fuji' Cherry Tree
Flowering cherry trees generally don't require much pruning. Flowers are produced on the previous season's growth, so heavy winter pruning is not advised, as you'll cut off all the flowers. The best time to prune cherry trees is in late spring or early summer.   Read more...

 

Pruning roses

 Video: The Dreaded P Word

The Dreaded "P" Word
Pruning is a word, and task, sure to strike fear in any new rose grower's heart. But is the conventional way of pruning the best for Garden Roses?   Watch the video... 

See also...
To What Height Should You Prune Your Roses?

Out with the Old Canes, In with the New

Out with the Old Canes, In with the New
Removing old canes should be part of any rose maintenance program. But how do you know it's old, how much do you take out?.   Read more...

What Time of Year Should I Prune My Roses?

What Time of Year Should I Prune My Roses?
Timing does matter, and here's a real simple answer from Paul Zimmerman, our rose blogger.   Read more...

See also:
Summer Pruning Roses in a Hot Climate
Can Roses be Pruned in Fall?

 Video: Pruning and Controlling a Climbing Rose

Video: Pruning and Controlling a Climbing Rose
With help from Paul Zimmerman, you'll be able to prune your climbing roses with confidence.   Watch the video...

Related information...
The One Essential Thing to Know when Pruning Climbing Roses
Pruning Climbing Roses
Video: How to Prune Climbing Roses

Video: How to Prune Shrub Roses

Video: Pruning Shrub Roses
Peter Kukielski, curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, demonstrates the best way to prune shrub roses.   Watch the video...

More videos on this topic...
Pruning Shrub Roses that Grow New Canes from the Base Every Year
Pruning Shrub Roses that Build a Structure over Time

Video: How to Prune Floribunda Roses

Video: How to Prune Floribunda Roses
Peter Kukielski, curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, demonstrates the best way to prune floribunda roses.   Watch the video...
 

Video: How to Prune Hybrid Tea Roses

Video: How to Prune Hybrid Tea Roses
Peter Kukielski, curator of the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, demonstrates the best way to prune hybrid tea roses.   Watch the video...

Video Collection: Planting and Pruning Roses

Video Collection: Planting and Pruning Roses
View videos on planting roses in containers and feeding, mulching, pruning, and preparing roses for winter.   Watch the videos...

 

Pruning tomatoes and basil

 Pruning Tomatoes

Pruning Tomatoes
Learn how to manage your plants for better health and better fruit.   Read more...

Video: How to Prune Tomatoes

Video: How to Prune Tomatoes
Follow Lee Reich, author of The Pruning Book and Growing Fruit Naturally, as he makes weekly rounds to prune his indeterminate tomato plants.   Watch the video... 

 Homegrown/Homemade Video: How to Prune Tomato Plants

Homegrown/Homemade Video: How to Prune Tomato Plants
In this video, part of a multi-episode series on growing, maintaining, harvesting, preserving and cooking tomatoes, Fine Gardening senior editor shows Danielle Sherry shows Fine Cooking web producer Sarah Breckenridge how to manage her tomato plants for maximum yield.   Watch the video...

Basil Basics

Basil Basics
Basil is an easy herb to grow, and drastic pruning has a beneficial effect on the growth of the plants.   Read more... 

Homegrown/Homemade Video: How to Prune and Harvest Basil

Homegrown/Homemade Video: How to Prune and Harvest Basil
Basil plants grow more densely after pinching, and that's good news for cooks.   Watch the video...

 

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posted in: Pruning

Comments (1)

BombasticTurtle writes: Hello Ruth! You can call me a new gardener, but one that is cautios and will research rather than go crazy at the local nursery with buying plants and then not knowing what to do with the trees or where to plant and what the outcome might be in say ... five to seven years!

I am a great fan and follower of www.finegardening.com and have read your articles on pruning, pruners and how to maintain them. It has helped me greatly ... and I am taking the liberty on FB so that many more like me can take advantage of what you discussed. Posted: 3:16 pm on March 5th
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