For example, plants that bloom in spring, such as dogwood or forsythia, are normally pruned after flowering. Pruning shrubs that bloom in spring during the dormant season will remove the flower buds formed the previous fall. Plants that bloom in summer are generally pruned during the inactive winter season. Knowing and practicing the rules of pruning is the most important thing, but just as important is using the right tools.
The equipment can be limited to a few items if the right ones are selected. Choose tools that do the job, maintain a sharp edge, and are relatively easy to sharpen and handle. This section shows some of the most commonly used pruning tools. Good, well-maintained equipment does a better job and lasts longer.
Store equipment in a dry place, keep it sharp and in good working condition. When pruning diseased plants, disinfect all scissors and saw blades after each cut to prevent the disease from spreading to healthy plants. An example of this is pruning fire blight on pears, piracantas or cotoneaster. Use alcohol or bleach to disinfect equipment between each cut when pruning diseased plants.
Mix at the rate of one part bleach to nine parts water. At the end of the day, grease the pruning equipment thoroughly to prevent it from rusting. Pruning is both art and science. Topiary, the art of pruning plants to achieve unusual shapes, and bonsai are good examples of plant art that requires special pruning techniques.
However, even these unusual plant forms use the same basic scientific principles of pruning. This publication will provide you with the knowledge you need to start pruning properly. With this knowledge, you can develop a more artistic pruning style based on your personal preferences and experience.