Use clean sharp pruning tools to minimise disease risk. Rubbing blades with steel wool dipped in oil prevents rust and keeps tools in good working order. Use a strong enough tool for the job. Secateurs cut up to pencil thickness. For larger branches use loppers. Branches over 20cm thick need a pruning saw. Stand back! Look at the whole tree between cuts. Observe and preserve its natural shape. After pruning, plants need water to support the rush of new growth. Protect yourself from injury by using the right tool for the job and wearing sensible clothing such as leather pruning gloves.