Prevent windrock damage
Autumn sees an increased chance of strong winds that can cause plants to rock back and forth. As a rule, well-established trees and shrubs are usually able to cope with this movement as they have a proportion of thick, anchoring roots. Newly planted shrubs, trees and fruit bushes – those that have been in the ground for a year or less – won’t have such supportive roots and can be easily blown over or loosened by the wind. Their roots may be severed and a hollow can form in the soil, in which water collects, leading to the trunk or roots rotting. In exposed coastal and hilltop locations, it is also worth carrying out such pruning on established trees and shrubs with dense crowns to reduce the risk of them blowing over in severe gales.
What to cut Shoots on new shrubs and those in exposed areas.
Where to cut Pruning up to a third of the oldest branches of these plants will reduce the ‘sail’ effect of top growth, allowing wind to filter through the canopy and reducing the amount of rocking in the wind. Cutting back the remaining growth by up to a quarter of its height will also help to reduce swaying and the stress on roots.
When to cut Before high winds are likely to strike in your area.
Reduce the tops of plants in windy places
Sheltered plants like this are safe from wind