About the SFMGA

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Pruning

  • Pruning dead or diseased wood can and should be done any time of year. If there is any chance of disease, tools should be sterilized with a 10% solution of bleach after pruning each plant. If branches are infected by Fireblight, tools should be sterilized after every cut.
  • Pruning deciduous trees in fall at the time of leaf drop should also be avoided.
  • Pruning paint is not recommended to seal a fresh cut. The plant’s own sap is effective in ridding the bacteria that has accumulated on the fresh cut.
  • If a limb of an evergreen is cut back to a point where there are no longer any needles, it is unlikely that the plant will re-produce growth from the cut.
  • Use tools that are sharpened, oiled, and the right size for the job. A sharp tool that is large enough for the job will make a clean cut. Jagged pruning cuts attract insects and disease.
  • A carefully pruned plant will look better after pruning, with an even distribution of branches and un-noticeable pruning cuts. There will be no short stubs. Weak and dead growth will be taken back to main branches or trunks. Old canes will be removed at the base of the plant. Root sprouts will be cut back to below ground level. And the pruning will be timed so that the flowers and fruit remain in abundance.