Winter is the best time to prune your deciduous trees, and unsightly shrubs, as this is when the plant is dormant or at its slowest growth point.
Pruning can be a daunting prospect for the inexperienced, but it’s really not that difficult. Even if you make a mistake, your plants will be forgiving.
The first thing that you need to do is ensure that you have clean and sharp tools. You may use a pruning knife (suitable for smaller branches and roses), secateurs (suitable for small branches) and a pruning saw (suitable for larger branches/bigger jobs). Make sure that you are wearing a long shirt, and a sturdy pair of garden gloves. (I recommend that you wear glasses to protect your eyes).
- Remove any dead branches, flowers and leaves.
- Remove any canes (branches), which are growing in towards the centre of the plant. (You are aiming for a vase shape – unless you are cutting a topiary).
- Cut back the remaining canes (branches) by up to two-thirds.
- Cut above a knot in the branch.
- Fertilise the plant if it needs it.