Essential operation, pruning is one of the most pleasant activities of gardening. The objective is often to "make clean" and to model the plants to embellish their forms. There is little risk of pruning too much or improperly, except delaying the next flowering or harvesting by one year.
I don't leave my garden abandoned
The plant has grown too much and has gone beyond its reserved place. It must be pruned to limit its development. To make a successful hedge, training size - especially the first years - is essential. Some species must be pruned to obtain an abundant flowering, others for fruiting.
I use suitable tools, and I maintain them
There are a multitude of specific tools for pruning. We will mention here the essential tools to use, depending on the size of the branches. - The pruner is intended for branches not exceeding fifteen millimeters in diameter. - The pruning shears are designed for branches ranging from 2 to 3 cm in diameter. - The handsaw, preferably folding, is used to cut the largest branches. - The pruning shears and shears may be suitable for training sizes. - An electric or thermal hedge trimmer is rather used for maintenance pruning. For safety reasons, it is best to wear gardening gloves and goggles when trimming a hedge. Be careful with the electric cable, which it is prudent to attach to the belt at the back, before sliding it over the shoulder. The tools must be well sharpened for clean and clean cuts, and disinfected (alcohol at 90 ° C) before and after use. It is good to respect these principles to avoid the appearance of diseases, which can spread to the whole plant.
I choose the right period to prune
The main period of pruning in the garden is the beginning of spring (March - April) before the budding (blooming) of the buds, if the purpose is the leafy aspect. Part of the flowering shrubs will generally be pruned after their flowering (late spring or summer). In autumn, pruning is partial in order to lighten overly exuberant plants (rosebushes, Virginia creeper, etc.). In general, the size of large trees is winter. For the latter, it is prudent to use a professional pruner.
I respect basic pruning techniques
Concerning the small branches (less than 25 mm), if the plant has opposite leaves (the buds face each other on the same level on the stem), the pruning shears cut perpendicularly, a small centimeter above the buds. If the plant has alternate leaves (buds at different heights on the branch), the cut is made obliquely a few millimeters above the chosen bud and in such a way that the direction of the bias lets moisture escape. opposite of the bud. To cut branches from 3 to 10 cm, you use a handsaw. In general, we cut the branches at their base, where they fit. When the branch is large, it is first necessary to make a notch under it, in order to avoid that its weight, while falling, does not tear the bark and the sapwood in a harmful way. Once cut, the wound should be clean and possibly covered with a healing sealant. As for hedges, they are pruned as soon as they lose their regular contours with a hedge trimmer, taking care to keep the blades parallel to the worked face. Sometimes a guide (tight string) is very useful to keep the line straight.
I ask before cutting
It is always important to check the health of the plants. The first useful gestures are to eliminate the branches which rub against each other or which cross. It is also necessary to remove diseased branches (signs of decline), or having suffered from frost and all dead wood by cutting to healthy wood. It is also necessary to remove the greedy ones (vigorous stems resulting from the rootstock) at the base of the plant, as well as the green leafy branches of a plant with variegated foliage. Not all plants need to be pruned. It is therefore necessary to learn (in the books) about the specific needs of the species, their type of size required and the desirable period, and sometimes seek the advice of a professional.