How to Prune Shrubs

Опубликовал Admin
25-10-2016, 12:35
Pruning is an important part of maintaining healthy shrubs. Pruning shrubs is typically done to stimulate the direction of new growth or to thin the excessive growth of a shrub. Each method requires a different cut to ensure the proper outcome. Here you will find an outline describing the different cuts used to prune shrubs.


  1. Protect your hands with gardening gloves and your arms with long sleeves to prevent cuts and scrapes.
  2. Assess your shrubs to determine what type of maintenance they need.
  3. Locate the nodes on each branch. A node is a bump in the branch that looks similar to a knuckle or a joint. This is where the leaves are attached to the branches.
    • If you want to stimulate the growth of a shrub, you should cut approximately 1/4 of an inch (.6 cm) above the node at a slight angle, approximately 45 degrees. Cutting too close or too steep could dry out the branch and cause it to die.
    • If you would like to thin the growth of your shrub, make the cut at the branch's point of origin, or where it shoots from another branch. Cut at a downward angle, approximately 45 degrees. Choose branches that do not fit the natural form of the shrub for removal. Thin out the oldest and tallest branches first, then cut sparingly and only where there is excessive growth.
    • Do not coat the cuts with paint or wound-dressing.
  4. Remove any broken, dead, diseased or decayed branches at their points of origin.
    • When removing diseased branches, spray or dip your shears in a household disinfectant between each cut to avoid spreading the disease to other parts of your shrub.
  5. Water your newly pruned shrubs well. Water not only at the base of the shrubs, but it's also a good idea to lightly water the newly cut branches with a spray bottle or garden hose.


  • The most effective time of year for most shrub pruning is late winter or early spring, although light, corrective shrub pruning can be done any time of the year.
  • A handsaw may be used to cut older or thicker branches that may be too hard for your pruning shears. Be sure to saw at a slight angle, approximately 45 degrees, just as you would with shears, to ensure the proper cut.


  • Every shrub is different. Each has different growth habits, density and flower displays. Not all maintenance will be exactly the same for each shrub. Refer to gardening books or online resources for information on how to care for a specific type of shrub.

Things You'll Need

  • Gardening gloves
  • Long sleeves
  • Pruning shears
  • Water
  • Household disinfectant
  • Spray bottle or garden hose
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