Thursday, February 26, 2009

February Pruning Tips

Most pruning of deciduous plants occurs in the dormant winter season. For best results, learn the growth habits of plants. For woody plants, remove dead, diseased, or damaged wood first. Then prune for shape, size, or fruit production. Remove suckers and water sprouts from flowering and fruiting trees. Prune plants that form flowers on wood grown the same season in late winter before buds swell. Prune most roses in late winter or early spring. Prune those that bloom once a year after blooming. In severe climates, cut back only wood that has died over winter. Prune only dead wood on climbers for the first two or three years. Prune old, shrub, and species roses lightly to shape them and remove dead wood. Shape hedges with the top slightly narrower than the base so light can reach lower leaves. Three basic tools suffice for most pruning jobs: shears, loppers, and a pruning saw. Keep them sharp for clean cuts; disinfect after pruning diseased material. Don't forget to stock up on gloves, one of the secondary, but very important, tools of pruning!! has a great selection, for the most discriminating gardener.

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