Tips & Advice

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Pruning is the removal of plant parts to enhance the health, aesthetic appearance and fruiting ability of the plant.


• To improve the quality of flowers, fruit, foliage or stems
• To maintain plant health
• To obtain a balance between growth and flowering
• To restrict growth
• To train the plant


Do not prune just because it is spring, some plants react differently than others to pruning. If in doubt a safe rule of thumb would be to follow the 3 D’s – prune only if it is deformed, damaged or diseased. Even better, speak to one of our knowledgeable staff members about the plant in question, they’ll be able to tell you if it will benefit from pruning.

If the plant needs only a light shearing or pruning for shape, it can be done at any time of the year. Take no more than 5% to 10% of the total volume off.

If your plant needs heavy pruning (such as removing up to a third of the plant mass) it should be done in the spring before the first flush of growth and after the last hard frost. The cuts will soon be covered up by the new spring growth.


Before you make the first cut, always picture in your mind how the plant will look without that particular limb. When pruning, always prune to either the next growth bud that is facing outwards (away from the centre of the plant) or to the junction where the limb meets the plant. NEVER leave a stub! Stubs allow access to the plant for diseases & infection.

Always cut out dead, diseased or damaged materials fist (the 3 D’s). Trace the dead branch or limb to where there is live wood (check by gently scraping the bark to see if the layer underneath is white or light green) and cut just below that at a growth bud.

Next prune out all crossing branches. Crossing branches will become large limbs that will rub against each other & cause damage to the plant in the future.

Stand back to see if you need to do any further pruning. For ornamental deciduous shrubs & trees, the branches should be encouraged to grow outwards. This allows good light penetration. Prune out branches that tend to grow inwards.

If you require any further assistance or advice, our professional staff will gladly assist you.