When to prune: garden pruning calendar
You may think that there is only one good time to prune, but that's not true! Almost every station has a pruning task. Next we are going to talk about when to prune: the pruning calendar of your garden.
Pruning is the art of removing parts of a plant to improve the structure, health, and appearance of the plant. It is a vital part of keeping your garden in good condition.
END OF WINTER
Late winter (or dormant) pruning It is done when the tree or shrub is still dormant, which means that its leaves have not branched out. Once it starts to come out, the plant “break latency”, taking off in a burst of growth as it releases the food it made from photosynthesis and stored the previous summer.
Pruning in late winter encourages branching and stimulates growth. So if we are trying to establish the structure of a sapling, dormant pruning is the best way to go. Also, with no leaves on the plant, we can see well the structure that we are trying to mold.
Dormant pruning is the norm for young deciduous trees, for fruit trees (especially when young), and wisteria. Evergreens can be pruned as long as their wood is not frozen.
In spring, we can the bushes that bloom in summer. Most summer flowering plants bloom in new wood, which translates to growth for the current season. So even if we cut branches, we will not reduce the number of flowers for this season.
If you wonder when to prune the bushes, it would be advisable in early spring as it allows cutting dead wood and stimulating growth. Some summer bloomers respond best to selective pruning, while some do best when cut completely to the ground each spring.
Lilacs, viburnums and many other spring flowers will bloom next spring on the buds they create this summer. If we could prune in late summer, we would be removing some of next year's blooms. Instead, We can the spring flowering shrubs immediately after they finish flowering.
Summer pruning is mainly used to control the size of the plant. In summer, trees store food for the following year, so there is generally less food available to promote growth. As a result, summer pruning does not drive the same rapid growth as late winter pruning.
Summer is the best time to shrink large trees, open tree canopies, and re-control rampant growth (especially in plants like wisteria). Late summer is also a great time to shear evergreen hedges, as their vegetative growth slows down later in the summer.
Some fruit growers rely entirely on summer pruning to control the size of their fruit trees.
We continue to prune shrubs until early fall. But we stopped pruning in late September, because we don't want to encourage new growth that doesn't harden before freezing weather.
THE WINTER HOLIDAYS
In early and mid-winter, we give our clippers a break. Plant tissue is more susceptible to damage in freezing temperatures, and cuts make it even more likely to be damaged. So we only do emergency pruning (removal of dead or damaged wood) in winter.
We hope that with this entry you know when to prune and so you can create your own pruning calendar.
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