Prun­ing know-how

Canadian Gardening Annual 2016 - - How-to -

Start with clean, sharp, good-qual­ity tools ap­pro­pri­ate for the job at hand. To pre­vent the pos­si­ble spread of dis­ease, dis­in­fect your tools af­ter each cut with a so­lu­tion of one part chlo­rine bleach or rub­bing al­co­hol di­luted with 10 parts wa­ter.

Step 1: First, re­move any dead or dis­eased wood. next, se­lect two to four of the old­est, largest stems, equally spaced around the shrub. when re­mov­ing old stems, try to make the cut as close to the base of the stem as pos­si­ble.

Step 2: You may need to prune some of the younger stems and suck­ers as well. Start by re­mov­ing any branches that are cross­ing or rub­bing against each other, then prune those that look out of place or are crowd­ing the cen­tre of the plant. Aim to leave a bal­anced va­ri­ety of old and new, big and small stems.

Step 3: in gen­eral, to head back a stem that’s too long, make the cut just above a bud that is fac­ing in the di­rec­tion you want the new growth to go – usu­ally to­ward the out­side of the plant. This keeps the cen­tre of the shrub open, which is im­por­tant for good air cir­cu­la­tion and looks more nat­u­ral. if the plant has op­po­site leaves and one bud is fac­ing in the wrong di­rec­tion, sim­ply rub it off. Do not leave stubs above the buds, as they will die and pro­vide an en­try­way for dis­ease and in­sect pests.

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