Pre­vent win­drock dam­age

Gardeners' World - - Autumn Pruning Guide -

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

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