Sunday, 20 October 2013

Up to date pruning techniques

During Sue's latest trip to the U.K., she went to a lecture on pruning at one of the nearby nurseries.  She compiled what she felt was useful to our members and added some of her own comments.


9th October 2013


Why prune? * improve fruit and flower production
remove dead or damaged branches
plant too large for location
create topiary

Tools: secateurs (anvil = l stationary + 1 cutting blade)
Parrot clippers
Wetstone to sharpen blades

Anvil secateur

Parrot clippers

Felco Wetstone

Sharpening tools: sharpen bevelled edge only (push downwards and away from body).
Check edge sharpness by holding blade up to good light (if flat it is sharp).

When to prune: immediately after flowering so as not to prune next year’s flowering shoots
OR in spring after frosts i.e. not in autumn.
Prune on a cloudy day

After pruning: feed with compost and water well

DO  NOT tidy up perennials in autumn (do this in spring)
DO  NOT cut off Agapanthus flowers

Rose (rambler): Identify = lots of stems from base
Example = Rosa filipes 'Kiftsgate', 'Kew Rambler', Rosa banksaie (my double white Banksia had no flowers in spring 2013 – due to long cold spring).

Rosa filipes 'Kiftgate'

Pruning = remove dead and old wood after flowering.

Rose (climbing): Identify = sprouts from single stem
Example = Rosa Madame Alfred Carriere, Cecile Brunner and Iceberg.

Madame Alfred Carriere

Feed in spring
Train horizontal to encourage vertical growth
Prune from October - Spring.

Rose (floribunda): cut to ground in late winter to 3rd outward facing bud from ground

Rose (shrub): aim for open goblet shape

Cut dead/damaged/diseased/weak branches (to reduce blackspot).

Lavender: prune when still in flower to avoid cutting next year’s flowers (as per Norfolk lavender farmer)
(needs 8 hours of sun per day and light soil)

Buddlea, Lavatera: prune in autumn by one-third all over to reduce wind-rock.

Vines: spring spur prune
Summer remove leaves around grapes.
Remove one-third of all bunches of grapes.

Dogwoods: Cornus sanguinea 'Winter Beauty' (light prune)

Cornus alba (can be hard-pruned by1/3rd each year)

Camelias: prune immediately after flowering in the Spring, flowers on new growth (can prune hard).  Flower buds from in the Summer, so pruning later will remove flowers for next year.    Also, extremely important that they are given plenty of water (in our climate) as flower buds are developing.

Hydrangeas: remove flower heads in late spring

Trachyspernum jasminoides :

 prune in late summer.




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