Written by Monica Hemingway and published on https://pruningguide.com/

Improper pruning cuts cause irreversible harm that often results in decline in health, structural instability, or death. Before you pick up your pruning shears, it is essential to have a goal in mind. Proper pruning will help maintain a tree’s health and beauty, but if you prune for no reason, you could accidentally cause more harm than good.

Five Questions to Ask Before Pruning Anything

5 questions to ask before pruning

Pruning is an acquired art. It takes practice but, most of all, it requires an understanding of what you’re doing and why.

That’s what our course, Pruning With Confidence, will teach you.

But even if you don’t take the course, these five questions will help you decide what to do.

  1. WHAT kind of plant am I pruning? This will help you decide the answers to the next questions.
    1. Is it deciduous or evergreen?
    2. A shrub, tree, vine, or woody perennial?
    3. What is its natural size and shape?
  2. WHY am I pruning it?
    1. For example, do I want to adjust the shape, improve health, get more flowers, encourage more younger growth, etc.?
  3. WHEN is the best time to prune it? There’s a best time to prune everything.
  4. HOW should I prune it?
    1. Do I cut it back hard, take off just the tips, remove 1/3 of the growth, etc.?
  5. WHERE do I make the pruning cuts?
    1. Should I cut a ground level, a foot above, on one side of the plant only, at specific branches, etc.? The answer here depends on your answers to the questions above.

Before pruning anything, always ask yourself the five questions above.

Never cut off a limb, branch, or stem without having a good reason for doing so.

Original post here https://pruningguide.com/five-questions-ask-pruning-anything/.

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