Trees: formative pruning

While many trees will naturally form their adult shape as they grow, others need a little assistance to create a clear trunk and a well-spaced canopy of branches. It is wise to keep an eye on young trees and carry out formative pruning as required.

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Good pruning in the early years results in better shaped trees. Image: Tim Sandall/RHS

Quick facts

Suitable for: Young trees, from one year old
Timing: Variable, but often in winter for deciduous trees and spring for evergreens
Difficulty: Moderate

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