Plant Pruning

Most woody perennial plants will benefit from routine pruning. This means fruit and nut trees, bushes, and vines. A plant of course, growing in the wild, does not get this pampering and does fine right? Not exactly. In the first place, nature does prune. We have all seen the dead lower limbs of trees in a dense canopy. This is because this shaded area does not allow for good sunlight penetration to the leaves or needles, resulting in poor growth. Storm damage does plenty of pruning too. However, an intelligent pruner can do a much better job making adjustments for each subject to benefit plant health and aesthetics.


The most important reason for pruning is light penetration. All woody plants have the habit of becoming too dense with growth, which prevents light getting to the places that need it. A bud will not be fruitful if left too shaded.

Another reason to prune is for disease control. Crowed conditions mean longer wet periods. And longer wet periods means higher disease potential. Most pathogens need a wetting period to become established and to thrive. It is no different than having a wet house foundation...both lead to rot.

Good pruning also leads to good strength. Bad crotch angles (between trunk and branches) for instance can lead to breakage, which in turn leads to weakness or disease. Heavy tree portions, especially at the top can also lead to damage in a high cropload season or during heavy winds.

Pruning can help thin a crop. This leads to larger fruit, and sometimes to keeping plants from oversetting and going into a biennial fruiting cycle.

Finally, pruning can make for a beautiful plant. Be it an artfully crafted fruiting hedge, a crabapple, or an arbored grapevine.

Each species will have exacting schemes for supporting the healthiest plant. Do your best to learn how so that you may save heartache later. 

General good practice is to use top quality tools, maintain good safety procedures, and prune at the proper time. If you feel you need some education, please consider taking a workshop or private lesson. If you need the work done for you, we can help there too. Details here.