Make the most of winter pruning
To open up a dense tree without loosing its shape, mark a few branches at different levels for removal.
If using a saw, remember the weight of larger branches will cause splitting down the trunk.
So, make an undercut a centimetre or two under the branch directly below where the full cut from above will be done, or find a way of supporting the weight of the branch.
To prevent rots, diseases and pests, seal the cuts as soon as possible with acrylic paint mixed with a few scoops of Wallys Sulphur Powder, and a spray of Wallys Liquid Copper and Raingard.
The best time to remove citrus branches is in winter, now between crops. The worst time is in summer when citrus tree borer is on the wing.
With roses and most other fruit trees, silver-leaf disease can enter the cuts, so never prune on a cool/cold damp day – go for sunny and dry.
Prune to tidy climbing roses, but to spread them along a fence, tie some branches back to the fence as in espaliering for the climber’s framework.
Modern bush roses come into two categories, hybrid tea and floribunda.
For pruning hybrid tea bushes, cut to one or more outward facing buds on good canes to ideally form a champagne glass shape. On floribunda, cut down to a few buds facing inwards and outwards to form a vase like display of blooms.
Either: Cut bush and standard rose canes to half their size, remove spindly and dead wood and spray what is left, including the soil underneath, with lime sulphur to burn off any remaining leaves, kill disease spores and any insect pests with a final prune about the end of July.
Or: Cut back the canes and spray with potassium permanganate, later prune and re-spray . When foliage appears, add Raingard to the spray.
It’s similar for fruit trees – especially stone fruit for curly leaf.
There are ample internet diagrams and descriptions for pruning fruit trees. The objective is to tidy, remove dead wood, and reduce the number of branches so the remaining ones produce bigger better fruit.
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Pruning needn’t cause any stress if a few simple whys and wherefores are kept in mind.