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 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 ToolsWhatever 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 PrunersIt'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 PrunersArborist Melissa Levangie explains how to clean your pruners, then sharpen them using diamond files. Read more... What are the best hand pruners?Fine Gardening editors and readers share their favorite brands. Read more... Basic pruning techniques Video: Where to CutWhere 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 PruningRegular 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 TipsPinching 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 StemsColeus 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 PlantsIf 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 HedgeA 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 SubshrubsSubshrubs 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 ShrubsCane-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 ClematisYour 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 MyrtlesMany 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 HeatherAn annual pruning regimen will keep your heather from becoming ugly and unruly. Read more... Pruning HolliesLearn when and how to prune your hollies, whether you have deciduous, rounded, intermediate, or pyramidal plants. Read more... Pruning HydrangeasFirst, 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 LilacsWhether 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 RhododendronsFind out how to maintain, shape, or rejuvenate rhododendrons to keep them healthy and attractive. Read more... Pruning and Training WisteriaWell-placed summer and winter cuts will keep this vigorous vine manageable. Read more... Pruning an Old Wisteria VineDrastic pruning will not kill an old wisteria. Quite the contrary: It will spur rapid new growth. Read more... Pruning trees Winter PruningWhat kind of pruning is safe to do in winter? Lee Reich gives an overview. Read more... How to Prune ConifersConifers 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 HealthDead, diseased, or damaged branches should be removed when the problem arises. Watch the video... Video: Pruning Arborvitae, Junipers, and ChamaecyparisConifers with fan-like needles will not form new growth on old wood, so judicious pruning is advised. Watch the video... Pruning PinesPrune pine trees when they are actively growing. Watch the video... Pruning Firs, Douglas Firs, and SprucesControl height and encourage fullness by pruning during dormancy. Watch the video... How to Prune an Old Apple TreePruning 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 MaplesThe right cuts reveal a branch pattern that looks good with leaves or without. Read more... Pruning a 'Mt. Fuji' Cherry TreeFlowering 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 The Dreaded "P" WordPruning 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 NewRemoving 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?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 ClimateCan Roses be Pruned in Fall? Video: Pruning and Controlling a Climbing RoseWith 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 RosesPruning Climbing RosesVideo: How to Prune Climbing Roses Video: Pruning Shrub RosesPeter 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 YearPruning Shrub Roses that Build a Structure over Time Video: How to Prune Floribunda RosesPeter 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 RosesPeter 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 RosesView videos on planting roses in containers and feeding, mulching, pruning, and preparing roses for winter. Watch the videos... Pruning tomatoes and basil Pruning TomatoesLearn how to manage your plants for better health and better fruit. Read more... Video: How to Prune TomatoesFollow 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 PlantsIn 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 BasicsBasil 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 BasilBasil plants grow more densely after pinching, and that's good news for cooks. Watch the video... Related Articles Five Common Pruning Mistakes, and How to Fix Them This is not the way you want to lose a limb... Shakespeare on pruning Tell us about your pruning mistakes View the discussion thread.