The Pruning Process

Every spring, a repeating nightmare comes to life for every gardener. Yep; it’s pruning season! It’s the time to get those plants, bushes, shrubs, and trees back to their former, pre-winter glory. This year, everyone will love your garden, just like they do every year; but it’s going to take some work to get those “oohs and aahs”. Well, there are a few things you may want to know to put the beauty back in your garden.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Hand Pruners


Pruning Saws

Hedge Shears

Grass Shears

As most gardeners know, there are various times, throughout spring, to prune various types of plants. Learning these times and following them will help you keep a healthy garden. Every gardener has their own process, but one general outline should be, at least, taken into consideration. Probably the best place to start is to get any and all of the diseased, dead, or damaged stems out of your garden. Any diseased stems left behind will allow the disease to spread to the rest of the plant. This is something that probably ought to be done year round, rather than just in the spring. This will minimize the bulk of work come spring.


Many gardeners use shrubs to add a visual layout, or structure, to their garden. They are great for creating barriers or walls that form the walkways and designs of the garden. As with any plant, ensure to use clean, sharp tools to prune shrubs. When it’s time to prune your type of shrub, which varies depending on species, you can get this done relatively quickly. Start by taming any shooting stems or branches. Then move on to shaping. Most evergreens don’t require much work in the department; however, most other shrubs will require a fresh shaping each year. These couple chores will keep your shrubs looking amazing. One tip to lighten the workload is giving your shrubs a light pruning in the middle of autumn. This will decrease the misshapenness of them come next spring.

Fruit Trees

The reason gardeners plant fruit trees is to have the trees bear fruit. These trees will only reach their maximum bearing potential with proper pruning. If the roots of a tree are not as healthy as the top of the tree, the growth will be slow and weak. Pruning a fruit tree back will promote a balanced root to branch ratio. This, along with it promoting healthy stem and branch growth, will help your trees produce more and better fruit. Also, fruit trees ought to be shaped. Depending on the fruit which it bears, the shape could make a big difference in the amount of fruit you get from the tree. Be sure to look up the right shape and size for your fruit trees.

Flowering plants

The first process to familiarize yourself with is “deadheading”. This is the relatively simple process of trimming the plants. For this, you have to make a decision. If you don’t want your plant to produce offspring, you need to cut off the spent flowers. This is something many gardeners miss. Next, you must learn the times in which your plants bloom. This will make your life easier than you ever thought possible. This can spread the workload out over various seasons, as some plants should be pruned in summer vs. in the spring. This will give you more time in the garden that you take such pride in, and allow you to do small spurts of work, rather than breaking you back for a couple weeks.

This is just scratching the surface really. There are more comprehensive guides out there with better pruning tips for your garden. As you get started though, remember to always wear gloves, preferably non-absorbent ones. Some plants have caustic sap that can cause severe allergic reactions. Also, be sure to keep your stress level low when doing your gardening and pruning. This was your original plan for gardening in the first place. If you are stressed about time and work while gardening, you miss out on all the beauty that surrounds you. You miss the original intent of your garden: to make you happy!

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