How to Properly Prune – Pruning Essentials
No matter what the pruning task, a tool exists that can make the job not only easier and quicker, but also help improve the life of your plant. Bedner’s suggests anyone with shrubbery and trees in their yard, to consider adding these essential pruning tools to their shed.
Hand Pruner – used to make clean cuts that help to prevent disease and infestation.
Lopper – used to cut larger, thicker branches that are too big for your hand pruners.
Pruning Shears – Used to trim and look like a large pair of scissors.
Hand Saw – Used to cut through branches up to 3” thick.
Pole Saw – Used to cut branches and debris that are out of reach or too long in diameter for toppers or hand pruners.
For many small pruning tasks, the hand pruner and pruning shears will become your best friend. Here are a few instances where these tools can come in handy.
In the spring there may be many dead twigs coming from the crown of your perennials, like Hydrangeas. Use the hand pruner to cut them back below the live leaves. If you want the plant to get larger, trim just to the leaflet on the plant.
For some shrubbery, like Viburnum, really low branches can be detrimental to the plant because they trap debris close to the root ball. You can use the hand pruners to remove these low branches and open up the base of the tree to allow for airflow.
Some plants also get something called a water sprout. This is a long leading branch that has no major offshoots coming off it. Typically they detract from the attractiveness of the plant and can be easily removed with hand pruners without harming the plant.
In the early summer, you may notice your boxwood bushes have lost their shape from last growing season with the growth of new branches and leaves. The pruning shears can be used to trim the bush back to your desired shape.
The other tools recommended here are best for hard to reach and larger branches.
For example, when you have a larger bush or tree that needs to have branches removed, the lopper is a great tool. It makes it relatively easy to cut through thicker branches thanks to its longer handles and sharp blades. These same thick branches can also be easily cut with a handsaw if they are in tight spaces where your lopper can’t fit or with a pole saw if the branches are high up in a tree.