Proper pruning techniques, tips for landscapers

Updated Apr 15, 2024

Pruning Tlc

Spring is here, and landscapers need to train their crews on proper pruning techniques to make sure landscapes look their best.

The Grounds Guys put together a few tips on how to prune properly.

Hacking away at branches will do more damage than many workers think, so understanding the dos and don’ts of pruning is vital.

Proper pruning can promote flowering or fruiting, and it trains the plant to grow to a certain shape or size, as well as removes dead or damaged wood.

There are various techniques workers can use to get the best results, including:

1. Thinning – Removes certain branches back to the main trunk or stem to reduce the density of the plant without reducing the height.

2. Reducing – Reduces the height of the plant by removing larger branches down to smaller, lateral branches.

3. Heading – Trims the growing tips of shoots to force new buds to grow and thicken the growth at the cuts.

Here are some additional tips:

  • Use sharp, sterile tools. Dull blades can shred branches and expose the surface area to insects and disease. Even, smooth cuts promote faster healing for plants.
  • Cut judiciously. Make sure not to stress the plant by cutting more than necessary.
  • Know when to prune. Different plants will benefit from pruning at different times of the year. For deciduous plants, a general rule is to prime spring-flowering shrubs after they bloom, typically in late spring or early summer, and summer flowering shrubs in late winter.
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