A Guide to Pruning Shrubs When homeowners say they’re planning to prune their shrubs, they frequently mean they’re going to ‘shear’ their shrubs. Inasmuch as shearing has its uses in landscaping, it is almost always done for aesthetic reasons and infrequently results in a plant that was wholesome. Pruning on the flip side, if done right, makes the plant more healthy and formed true to its natural shape. Appropriate pruning consistently results in the more vigorous plant that is healthier. Appropriate pruning also makes the shrub in its authentic shape, not formed into something it isn’t. Any pruning should start with the removal of any crossing or dead branches. Crossing branches are branches that grow crossing the inside of the shrub or inward toward towards it. These are of no use and will inhibit the growth of branches that are desired by shading the interior of the plant. When the dead and crossing branches have been rid of, you’ll need to determine which type of pruning the shrub needs: whether maintenance or rejuvenation pruning.
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Maintenance pruning is needed several times annually and calls for only removing unwanted branches to keep a natural shape. Search for long branches that seem out of place. Reach to the middle of the plant, when removing, and locate the point of natural branching. This is the area you ought to make the cut.
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The cut should be in a manner that allows water to run off. Make the cut 1/4 of an inch above the bud node. The bud node is where new development will start, so select a node pointing in the direction of the desired development. Choosing a node pointed toward the plant’s center will lead to a crossing branch. Rejuvenation pruning needs to be reserved for plants that are older. As plants age, major branches or stems lose their energy and be unproductive. As the name suggests, rejuvenation pruning means precisely what it says, it rejuvenates older plants by returning them to their prior vigor and shape. There are two approaches to get this done, one is extreme and the other is less intense. Occasionally called renewal pruning, this severe pruning includes cutting the plant totally back to a height of between 6 to 12 inches. It’s not appropriate for many shrubs since this could be very difficult on a plant, so seek advice from the local greenhouse, extension agent or research it yourself. As the plant will be needing time to recuperate, time can also be crucial with such a pruning. In the event the plant continues to be fairly vigorous, in the event that you would like to rejuvenate the shrub but nevertheless keep its form or in the event the shrub cannot manage a severe cutback, it is possible to do a less severe long-term rejuvenation. Sticking to these straightforward techniques will keep your shrubs vigorous, healthy, and, in the event of flowering shrubs, covered in blooms year after year.

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