When and why should shrubs be Cut Back?
Pruning is the practice of cutting back woody plants such as roses, fruit trees and fruits. This practice has several objectives, to regulate growth, improve the quality of flowers and fruits and to remove damaged and decaying wood.
The removal of part of the top growth of a a plant causes a reaction in the root system which results in new stem growth, and depending on the time of the year and the severity of the cut back will effect the shape and how well the plant/shrub/tree flowers in future years.
If the winter has been particularly severe, with hard frosts and heavy snowfall, some of the more tender deciduous shrubs will definately need to be lightly cut back.
Damaged, dead or decaying wood should always be cut back to healthy clean wood before any other work is carried out. All cuts should be cleanly so as to not damage the plant.
The majority of shrubs need to be cut to increase flowering, whilst deciduous spring and early flowering shrubs should be trimmed immediately after flowering.
Simply cut back old wood, ensuring that cuts are made cleanly so as not to damage the plant cells. This will help to heal wounds and to encourage new growth. The buds for next year's flowers will appear on this new wood.
Late summer flowering shrubs should be cut in spring. They will produce flowers on the shoots that grow immediately after pruning. Winter flowering shrubs simply need to be trimmed in early spring to clean up any dead or diseased branches.
Cuts should be made above outward pointing buds so that new shoots will grow away from the center of the plant. Lateral and main branches should be cut flush with the bark.
It is also critical to know when to trim. Generally fruit trees and shrubs are cut back hard when first planted, and thereafter according to their flowering habits. Many deciduous shrubs will need to be cut to give them shape, improve their flowering and to restrict their size.
You should keep herb plants trimmed and bushy. By consistently cutting back your herb plants you will create a shorter path for nutrients and allow the leaves to grow fuller and quicker. Keep the plants short through trimming as well and increase the density of the leave and if possible do not allow the herbs to flower.
If you want to reduce the amount of work in the garden you may wish to select perennials, as these plants return year after year and ordinarily require only a modicum of attention.
This practice of cutting back growing shoots is quite severe, in some cases to within three or four buds above ground level. When top growth is hard pruned it causes a vigorous reaction in the root system and results in strong new growth. This method can be used on old and overgrown trees to stimulate new robust growth.
Before the new growing season begins moderating shortening of laterals or leaders will encourage the development of young shoots.This will encourage the development of young shoots.
The best time to prune trees is during the dormant season in late fall or winter
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