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Promote plant health by removing dead, diseased, or damaged branches. Correct a poor shape by eliminating crossing or poorly spaced branches.

 

BASIC PRUNING

1. Where To Prune

Select a bud or side branch pointing in the direction you want new growth to go. Make your cut no more than ¼" above this location.

2. Cutting Angle

Cut at a 45° angle in the direction the bud is pointing.  Slanted cuts leave less stub and reduce chance of disease.

3. When To Prune

Trees and shrubs that flower in the early spring should be pruned after flowering. Prune summer and fall bloomers before growth starts in the spring.

Dead, injured or diseased wood can be removed any time of year.

REMOVE LARGE BRANCHES WITH A 3-STEP CUT

Cut 1: Make a shallow undercut outside the branch collar. This will prevent the bark from stripping when the limb falls.

Cut 2: Slightly beyond the first cut, cut completely through the branch leaving a short stub.

Cut 3: Cut from top to bottom just outside the Bark Ridge/Branch Collar to remove the remaining stub. A clean smooth cut is the greatest safeguard against disease.

TRIMMING HEDGES

Maintain selected hedge shape before plants grow to desired height. This promotes strong branching at the base and fuller/denser foliage throughout.

Shape hedges narrower at the top so that sunlight can reach the bottom branches. This prevents lower branches from being shaded out and becoming thin at the base.

Natural rounded shapes are generally more successful and require less trimming each season.

Formal straight line hedges require more frequent trimming and maintenance each season.

Individual plants may be shaped and encouraged to merge together forming natural screens, fences, or edgings.

Stretch a string as a guide when trimming formal shaped hedges.


SAFETY

To minimize risk of eye injury, always wear eye protection. Do not use while standing on a ladder or other unstable surfaces. Do not use around electrical wires or equipment.

CAUTION: BLADES ARE SHARP – ALWAYS HANDLE TOOLS WITH CARE.


MAINTENANCE

Keep shears clean and lightly oiled. To prevent the spread of disease among other plants, wipe blades after use. Remove debris and tree sap from your pruner blade to enhance the performance of your pruner.

CLEANING

  1. Fill bucket with warm soapy water
  2. Soak Pruners in the soapy solution for several minutes to soften dirt and sappy buildup
  3. Scrub away debris using a stiff scrub brush (an old toothbrush works great)
  4. Wipe clean with a towel, paying close attention to joints and crevices
  5. Liberally apply a quality lubricant such as FluidFilm or WD-40 to the blade surface and into all moving parts such as the Pivot, Lock, and Spring.