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a guide to winter pruning

by dig the dirt editor

Some gardeners are leery of pruning. But don't worry! Although there's a prime time to prune deciduous plants, and certain steps to follow, you'll be whacking away confidently in no time. Just use our simple guidelines and have faith that you're doing a good deed for your garden. There are many benefits from pruning: your plants will be tidier-looking, pruning stimulates new growth, and it helps prevent disease spread and insect infestation.



easy pruning :

  1. Make clean cuts using sharp pruning shears.
  2.  Cut just below a bud or v of a branch. 
  3. Cut out any dead or diseased branches as well as any criss-crossing branches that rub against each other.
  4. Trim wayward branches that affect the plant's overall shape. Stand back and look the plant over as you trim.
  5. Hold the pruners in a vertical position to make cuts at an angle that faces away from the plant. This promotes lush, healthy plant growth.
  6. Do not remove more than 1/3 of the entire plant.
  7. Prune overgrown plants over time, a third at a time, instead of all at once.
  8. Note: as a general rule, trees and shrubs that bloom in spring should be pruned just after they have finished blooming.

Check out which of your plants need to be trimmed this winter.

In cold climates, it's best to finish the job before April, depending on the weather. While in warmer areas, January and February are usually the ideal times to complete winter pruning.


winter clean up, winter, pruning methods


Glad this was here - I have a ton of pruning to do. I think I will get started today!
gardengirl commented on 02/10/10
I'm pruning this weekend - thanks for the tips!
RitaBegonia commented on 02/08/10
Great, informative post. The information is quite helpful.--Thank you!
LilyLover commented on 02/07/10
Thanks for this post... I have a streak of really great, warm weather and I'm itching for a gardening project! Felcos, here I come!
butterfly commented on 02/04/10