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Common Garden Pruning Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

Common Garden Pruning Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

May 22, 2023

Rabia rauf

Nothing is more undetectable than a superb trimming job. On the other hand, nothing stands out more than a plant that has been improperly pruned. Both science and art go into pruning with straight pruning shearsThe science entails identifying plant faults and expertly decreasing or eliminating them. The artistic process entails removing these undesirable components with covert grace so that the plant appears unaltered and undamaged. But occasionally, when trimming, we gardeners forget about one of these factors, and that's when we make mistakes.

Garden Pruning Mistakes That Will Harm Your Shrubs & Plants

In order to preserve your plants and your sanity, we have listed the top pruning errors most people encounter, along with suggestions for how to avoid them in the future.

Using Blunt Tools

Using dull straight pruning shears is the first error that many gardeners, including some professionals, commit. Since we all know it's far simpler to prune using sharp shears, this is typically the result of laziness rather than ignorance. Who would like to spend their time in the garden instead of laboriously honing tools? However, many gardeners fail because they skip this step. To begin with, using dull shears is quite challenging. They don't create clean cuts, so you have to use a lot more force and movement to finish the task.

Related: Sharpening Garden Hand Pruning Tools the Right Way

Ineffective Pruning Cut 

A well-executed pruning cut lessens the harm done to the tree and enables speedy healing. A tree can sustain irreparable damage from an inappropriate cut, such as a flush cut (cutting too near to the trunk) or a stub cut (cutting too far from the trunk). The branch collar is removed by a flush cut, which also leaves a sizable wound on the tree's side that won't heal properly.  A stub cut leaves too much of a dead branch on the tree, which will cause it to rot back into the tree's trunk through the middle of the root collar. Both of these harmful cuts cause deterioration, which may result in death. 

Utilizing Unclean Pruning Tools

You must use high-quality pruning equipment when pruning. Your pruning tools need to be well-oiled and kept clean. Pruning tools that are sharp and well-oiled last longer, perform better and are safer to use. Sharp cuts cannot be made with blunt tools. Messy wounds might make your plant more susceptible to illnesses and take longer to recuperate. Alcohol can be used to keep pruning instruments clean. Your pruning tools can be kept clean by using any disinfectant you have at home, including rubbing alcohol. If you'd like to preserve your pruning tools secure for your plants, you can purchase ethanol or isopropyl alcohol.

Throughout The Growing Season, Severe Pruning

There is a danger of starving a tree by removing too many leaves when a tree is intensively pruned during the growing season (spring through late summer).  Remember: (Trees produce their food in the form of leaves.) The summer months are also when droughts are most likely to happen; a tree that is already stressed from excessive trimming will be less resilient when water is limited. A bark that has always been shaded may become exposed to harsh light if too many branches are removed. Sunscald will result from this, which harms the plant.

Read More: How to Maintain Your Garden Cutting Tools for Optimal Performance

Avoiding Evicting "Suckers"

Sucker growths from the root system are seen on many trees and plants. The plants become hefty and unwieldy as a result of these suckers. These plants' suckers assist the plants in producing more fruits. However, those "suckers" will have to compete for nutrition with the growing stems of the plants. As a result, the plants will have lesser fruit and be harder to stake. The plants become more compact, and you will produce larger fruits from your plants when these suckers are eliminated. However, over the season, the plants will yield fewer fruits.

Prune With a Purpose: Prune with Straight Pruning Shears

The technique to being employed depends on the aim of the pruning. Gardeners who want to reduce the size and those who want to encourage growth will likely use entirely different techniques. Hence, knowing your end objective before you start can help you employ the best strategy at the right moment to reach it. Ultimately, it's preferable to reserve the use of your pruning shears for emergency situations.