Pause Before Pruning

Year-round trimming efforts require proper tools and preparation. Take some time before you start the job this spring; your trees and shrubs will thank you.

| March 19, 2010

  • Take some time to prepare and ready your tools before the pruning begins.
    Take some time to prepare and ready your tools before the pruning begins.
    iStockphoto.com/Andreas Kaspar

  • Take some time to prepare and ready your tools before the pruning begins.

Spring will be here any day now. And when it comes this year, you’ve vowed to help your shrubs and trees get off to a better start. So, even though you’re not an expert, you’ve decided you need to do some pruning. Ready to start clipping, lopping, trimming and sawing?

Wait! Don’t start pruning yet – particularly if you aren’t certain where, when and how to begin.

First of all, remember that what you’re about to do is virtually the same as plant “surgery.” So, if you want your “patients” to recover and flourish, take time to go over some basic information that will help you do it right. The result will be a more professional-looking job with less trauma to your landscaping and better-controlled, well-directed growth this summer.

First, take time to ask yourself these questions: Do I have the right tools for pruning? Do I know the right time to prune my various trees and shrubs? Do I know where to prune for best results?



Having the right tools always comes first. Don’t start pruning before taking a close look at the equipment you’ll be using.  Be very critical, because like many novices, you’re probably relying on tools that have been inherited, accumulated over several years, are badly in need of sharpening or simply not suited for the job.

If one or all of these applies, it pays to make a fresh start. In fact, time spent in “retooling” with quality-made pruning equipment can be a wise investment toward a healthier, more attractive landscape.





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