Pruning plants

Tips and techniques to show you just what to do to tackle shrubs and trees so that they produce well-balanced, attractive specimens

pruning malusWhat tools will I need?

  • Secateurs
  • Pruning saw
  • String to tie in stems of climbers and wall shrubs
  • Bin for green waste
  • Rubbish bin for perennial weeds (as and when you spot them)

Why do I need to prune?

Many ornamental shrubs and trees can be allowed to grow without regular pruning. However, occasionally you may need to restrict the size, remove dead or unsightly growth, increase vigour, improve the shape or keep the plant in a healthy state to produce flowers and/or berries. Some shrubs, if left unpruned, continue growing from where the growth ended the previous season, becoming top heavy, flowering well above eye level, and with a bare base.
More on pruning shrubs
More on pruning clematis

What else can I find out about pruning plants in my garden?

Climbers and wall shrubs
Climbing roses

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Advice from the RHS

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The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK’s leading gardening charity. We aim to enrich everyone’s life through plants, and make the UK a greener and more beautiful place.