How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

In any garden, there is always something to trim: remove an unnecessary branch, correct the shape of a Bush or tree, lighten the crown, reduce the height, trim the hedge-there are many reasons to take up the tool. But above all the rules and techniques of pruning is the principle: do no harm. Before you “take up arms”, remember-trees and shrubs are alive! Therefore, all my tips are tested by years of experience and a desire to make plants not only beautiful, but also healthy.

But before we take decisive action, let’s understand the terminology:

  • Haircut involves removing the green mass for the current year’s growth.
  • Pruning is the removal of individual branches or trunks.

For example, to trim a hedge means to trim it. Thin out the crown of the tree to do the pruning.

What plants can be cut and pruned?

The very first question that is usually asked of me. The answer is simple: everything. Indeed, all trees and shrubs can be cut to some extent. If we talk about curly haircuts, you should remember: some crops grow so fast that you need to work with scissors all summer to maintain a given shape, while others, on the contrary, are so slow that you will have to wait forever for the form to be filled with green content.

How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

Important: a young, actively growing plant will quickly lose its artificial shape, and an adult will keep it for a long time.

The ideal shape for the plant will tell its natural habitus. If the shape of the crown initially tends to the ball — emphasize this roundness.

How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

Green cubes are also obtained from a spherical crown. If the shape of the crown is elongated, like a rocket, it is better to choose a cylinder or elongated cone. When you observe the principle of similarity-the haircut and keeps well, and looks organic, I know this from my own experience.

How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

When to cut?

I determine the ideal time frame based on the climatic features of the area and the physiology of the plant itself. So, in the southern regions of our country, you can take up scissors and secateurs almost in early February, and in the Northern regions it is better to postpone forming until the beginning of April.

My rule: pruning can be done when the average daily air temperature is greater than -4°C. If it is colder outside, the wood becomes too hard and brittle, and the tool becomes blunt and it is difficult to make a high-quality cut. But it is not all so clear. For example, I cut coniferous trees almost the entire season, with the exception of a small period of active tarring, which is observed in some species in early spring.

How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

Deciduous for the most part can not be cut during the period of active SAP movement, when the buds Wake up and the leaves open. Cutting at this time can even end in the death of the plant. For example, tree-like and paniculate hydrangeas will ” cry ” so profusely if they are touched during this period that they will most likely dry out. Therefore, as soon as the trees and shrubs have started to grow, it is better not to risk and let them fully open the new foliage.

There are many prejudices about the timing of pruning fruit trees. As I have already said, it is better not to touch them during the period of budding leaves, but in the summer, when the crop is ripe, it is quite possible to do both cutting and pruning. Yes, some of the fruit will die, but the remaining ones will be larger and sweeter.

When planning autumn haircuts, keep in mind that young growth is less likely to overwinter and is likely to freeze out. Of course, this is not always critical, but in order not to risk it, it is better to start the procedure when the new growth has time to grow and lignite.

How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

Cardinal pruning and shaping haircut should be transferred to the spring, and the fall should be devoted to moderate pruning of hardwoods.

Important: spring pruning stimulates shoot formation, and summer-slows down.

Tip: for haircuts and pruning, choose not extreme weather. You can not perform this work in extreme heat, strong wind and heavy rain.

How to cut hair?

Remember, you can remove up to one-third of the green mass of the plant at a time. Healthy specimens with such “weight loss” will cope without difficulty, but the sick and weakened ones are better not to touch at all. After cutting, both bushes and trees should be properly watered and fed with fertilizers according to the season.

Processing of sections, in my opinion, is an aesthetic measure rather than a preventive one. There are different points of view about the benefits and harm of putty, I treat them more like garden cosmetics. To ensure that the cut is tightened quickly and infection does not enter the wound surface, the quality of the cut is much more important than its subsequent processing.

How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

First, when removing skeletal branches, you can not leave the stumps without buds. The cut must be made at the correct angle.
Secondly, the cut must be smooth, without notches, and it can only be made with a very sharp tool.

How to cut hair?

Tools for cutting and pruning should be at any gardener, the minimum set includes garden shears, pruners and a hand saw.

How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

  • Garden shears are needed for cutting the green mass, young thin shoots, they “process” green fences and perform most of the curly haircut.
  • Secateurs usually remove branches with a diameter of up to 1.5 cm, this tool is selected according to the size of the hand, so that the workflow is comfortable and convenient.
  • With a hand saw, remove all the thick skeletal branches (this is necessary when forming pruning) and cut out the dry branches.

Important: no matter what tool you are holding, all cutting surfaces must be perfectly sharp and clean. Even the coolest “cutter”from a well-known company must be sharpened and-washed. It is especially troublesome to put the cutting surfaces in order after cutting coniferous trees. For example, firs emit so much resin that only a special tool can cope with it. But for ordinary tasks, it is enough to wash the tool with soap in hot water.

Finally, always remember the “do no harm” principle. And not only to the plant… but also to yourself. This means don’t forget about your personal safety. And even if you have to cut just one Bush or just cut a couple of branches-do not be lazy to wear gloves and safety glasses.

How To Properly Cut And Trim Plants: Tips For Beginners

It is worth remembering that some garden plants can emit poisonous juice when cutting. For example, Thuja occidentalis or Juniperus sabina. Therefore, when working with them, you should protect the exposed parts of the body with clothing, and at the end — wash your hands thoroughly with soap!

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