Time to Prune

Tony Matson - Monday, July 10, 2017

Some think that Winter is the time to take a break from the garden.  This can't be further from the truth!

Best time?  Generally prune most plants in mid to late winter before growth begins.  Roses in particular need a good prune back at this time of year to remove dead branches and invigorate growth.  Another rule for pruning is after the plant flowers or produces fruit.

Why? The aim of pruning is to remove limbs that are dead or diseased, to thin a plant, to remove unwanted or dangerous limbs or to train/ shape a plant.


  1. Cut back each stem to an outside bud or branch so that new shoots will grow to the outside of the plant.  The stem or limb that you cut back to, should have a diameter of about one third to half that of the branch to be removed.
  2. Make slanting cuts when removing limbs that grow upward to prevent water damage to the cut limb.
  3. Cut large branches using multiple smaller cuts so that large branches don't fall through the tree damaging it or yourself.
  4. Do not prune plants that are to be transplanted - instead water regularly after the transplantation.
  5. Make all cuts clean and smooth.
  6. Don't twist or strain your secateurs or loppers.  Keep the limb to be cut as deeply in the jaws and near the pivot as possible.
  7. Be safe - use the correct tool and don't climb trees without a proper restraint.  Avoid cutting wire with pruning tools as the blades will probably chip.  Refrain from pruning trees near power lines or exert extreme caution if having to do so.
  8. Clean your tools after use to prevent spreading disease and to prolong the life of your equipment.
  9. Finally purchase good quality secateurs, loppers, hedgers and saws (preferably from CutAbove Tools) to make the jobs easier.

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