Philosophy of Pruning

Pruning is assumed to be a prestigious gardening tool when in reality it's simple and easy to apply to plants.

| January 2018

  • This pretty garden includes many types of plant – such as trees, climbers and shrubs – that need pruning to help them grow well and look good.
    Photo by Creative Homeowner
  • Deciduous Magnolias resent pruning; wounds do not heal.
    Photo by Creative Homeowner
  • This beautiful display, which includes flowering and foliage shrubs as well as climbing roses and other climbers, needs regular pruning to ensure that it creates a spectacular feature each year.
    Photo by Creative Homeowner

According to Home Gardener's Pruning (Create Homeowner, 2017) in order to be a successful gardener you have to know how to prune-whether to improve growth, increase fruiting qualities or to enable the plant to grow in space-restricted areas or cold environments. This practical book provides advice on pruning garden plants, from infancy to maturity. Included is detailed advice on renovating neglected plants, from shrubs and climbers to fruit trees and bushes. There is also a fun element, with instructions for creating topiary in the garden.

Pruning is a gardening skill too often cloaked in magic and mystery, whereas in practice it is a logical process that is easy to understand and to apply to plants. It is mainly performed on woody plants, ranging from ornamental trees, shrubs and climbers to fruit trees and bushes. Roses are other popular candidates, together with hedges which need attention during their formative years as well as throughout their lives.

The Range of Plants that Benefit From Pruning

Flowering shrubs

Flowering shrubs, from Forsythia to Weigela, usually need yearly pruning to encourage the regular production of flowers.

Ornamental trees

Ornamental trees invariably need less pruning than shrubs, but it is essential during their early years to create a strong framework of branches.


All roses need yearly pruning, regardless of whether they are bush types (Hybrid Teas and Floribundas), climbers, ramblers or standards.


Hedges, from those grown for their attractive leaves to ones that become smothered in flowers, all need regular pruning.



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