How To Avoid Pruning Mistakes

Tips To Avoid Pruning Mistakes

How To Avoid Pruning Mistakes-pruning-a-rose-flowers
Pruning rose flower

There are so many reasons for pruning shrubs, trees, and other garden plants, but for the beginner gardener pruning jobs are painful because of not knowing when to prune and how to prune. In this guide we will be showing the benefits of pruning and pruning mistakes to avoid, the practice of pruning trees and garden plants is not a death sentence in fact pruning will add to the longevity, health, and beauty of your plants once done correctly.

I have performed many pruning operations on many plant species and have seen the benefits of this procedure, if your desire is to know how to prune correctly then continue reading as we discuss 9 pruning mistakes to avoid.

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9 Pruning Mistakes to Avoid

1. Stop Putting it Off

One of the biggest mistakes especially for the beginner gardener is putting off plant pruning because of not knowing how to, because of this you are doing your garden plants a big injustice. Plants that are not pruned will produce fewer flowers, fruits and foliage, or leaves, a lack of pruning will encourage a plant that’s leggy with old wood. If disease is present and not dealt with or prune will spread to healthy growth and the plant will decline.

2. Prune With a Goal

Before carrying out the pruning procedure know why you’re pruning, is it to remove dead, diseased, or overgrown wood, what about pruning your garden plants to maintain their natural form or maybe for your plants to produce more fruits, and flowers or to become fuller. Whatever the reason have a clear goal in mind for why you want to prune.

3. Pruning Too Late

Pruning too late in the season will rob your garden plants of flowers and fruit, heavy pruning should never be carried out during plant fruiting and flowering season. Wait until your plants have stopped producing or the producing season is over before carrying out pruning procedures.

4. Pruning with tools that are disease infected

A pruning that was used on a plant that’s diseased and then use on a healthy garden plant without being sterilized will ( a disease carrier) spread to healthy plant/plants. Make sure and sterilize or clean disease tools with a clean cloth or rag that was dipped in a mixture of bleach and water. When cleaning the blades wear a pair of strong garden gloves to avoid injury to your hand. Wipe pruning blades gently in a downward position.

5. Pruning with a Dull Blade

Attempting to carry out pruning procedures with a dull blade will ripe the plant’s branches and limbs, this will not only destroy the plant’s beauty but will encourage garden insect pests to use this area as a harbourage or a shelter. When this happens garden plants will fall prey to sickness followed by death if quick action is not taken. So ensure at all times that the pruning tool blade is sharp.

6. Not Pruning Above the Node

The node is that part of the plant that has a bump that looks like a small swelling on the limb which the leaves, shoots, and buds emerge from. You should always cut just above the node. Cutting into the node will cause injury while cutting below the node will remove the node and defeat the purpose of trying to encourage plants to produce leaves, buds, and shoots. Cutting just above the node can also control the direction in which the leaves, stems or flowers grow.

7. Not Pruning at an Angle

Pruning at a 45-degree angle will allow the plant’s sap to drain and discourage water from settling, if the cut is straight and not slanted will encourage disease and the attack of garden pests. So ensure as you make the cut it’s at a 45-degree angle.

8. Pruning Too Heavy During the Growing Season

Pruning too heavily when the tree is actively growing during springtime can cause more bad than good, during the spring season new stems and leaves form very quickly. Plant leaves give them the ability to manufacture their own food through a process called photosynthesis, which will encourage your tree/plants to grow healthy and full.

The removal of too many of these leaves during this time of the year will interrupt this growth cycle, sending your tree/garden plants into shock. This shock will cause stunted growth that may take years for your plants to recover.

9. Topping a Tree

Topping a tree is when the top of a tree is removed because of outgrowing its space, this practice is discouraged because the removal of the top growth will put stress on the tree and can also lead to an unbalanced structure. This may also cause the tree to be more likely to fall, that’s why it’s best to know the growing height of the tree at maturity before planting it. To avoid tree topping chose the right location for your tree so that when it reaches maturity you will not have this issue.

Names of Pruning Tools

Additional information on pruning

In case you missed it here is additional information on pruning.

The Benefits of Pruning

  • Pruning controls plant growth
  • Encourages flower and fruit production
  • Removes disease and dead wood
  • Removes broken plant parts for example limbs and branches
  • Encourages new growth
  • Lets in more light especially to lower branches
  • To Protect your home from damage for example overgrown branches and limbs growing into your house
  • Let’s the occupants have a clearer view from inside of their home
  • Controls the spread of insect pests
  • Enhances the beauty of a plant

The final word on how to avoid pruning mistakes

These methods of pruning will yield great results, I believe that all garden plants can look and grow their best, it’s all a matter of knowing what to do. You have come to the right place. This guide will help you as you practice proper pruning techniques, you don’t have to be afraid or confused when it comes to pruning the right way. If I can do it and so many others can do it then you can do it too.


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About the author

+ posts

Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.