It’s not really the time of year that most often comes to mind when we think of pruning. But this is the perfect time if you are working to keep certain shrubs or trees dwarfed. It’s also the time to redirect a plant that may be growing in an undesirable direction. Moreover pruning would be done in the summer for protective or corrective reasons. If plants are showing defective limbs you can lop them off at any time.
For dwarfing or redirecting; The way this works is actually very simple. Less leaf means less photosynthesis which means less nutrients for the plant to grow. That being said don’t do this sort of thing on a really hot day. It’s still a stressor even if it’s for the best in the long run.
For corrective and protective reasons; Rose plants and many fruit trees are susceptible to a condition known as silver leaf. The spores of this fungus are less active in the summer making this the perfect time to prune. Any plant will benefit from the prompt removal of dead or dying branches.
Overall pruning tips
- Make sure you have sharp tools. We’ve all had that pair of garden snips that you hold onto a little too long. One day you realize they are chewing not cutting. This is bad, throw them out.
- The right tool for the right job. Don’t overestimate the power of your pruning shears. Some jobs need a larger, stronger appliance. When your hand pruner is struggling it might be time to move up to a lopper. These are like amped up shears with longer handles for leverage. With this tool you should be able to cut up to 2”. Even dwarf fruit tree branches can easily reach this size.
- Keep it clean. As mentioned you are often pruning diseased branches at this time of year. Even one sick branch can spread to other branches through your shears. Wipe the blade with rubbing alcohol to ensure any spores are killed.
- If it’s not broken don’t fix it. It’s still stressful to go snipping off bits and every plant has different needs, be sure to ask one of our professional staff about proper care for your shrubs and trees this summer.