Pruning is an important part of regular garden maintenance. However, pruning at the wrong time can actually do far more harm than good. Use the box below to find out the best time to prune different varieties of trees and shrubs.
Cut back to where the dead branch joins the stem.
Branches that are badly diseased or cankered, or any that have been broken by wind or snow, should be removed.
Remove very thin and weak stems. If the branches are tighly packed at the centre of the plant consider removing some old wood to improve appearance and vigour.
If the plant is grafted remove suckers growing from below the graft. Some non-grafted shrubs also produce suckers from the rootstock that should be removed.
Remove awkwardly placed or problematic branches (eg. overhanging a path). This should be tackled every year and not left until it is a significant task.
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