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Three huge pruning errors which could kill a plant this spring – how to avoid

When pruning the garden, gardeners are encouraged to cut back foliage and stems to make a plant or shrub neater.

Pruning also encourages new and healthy growth which can improve the overall appearance of the garden.

To help Britons avoid making any mistakes, here are five common ones to bear in mind this spring.

Pruning at the wrong time

Pruning at the wrong time of year can be as bad as pruning too hard or too little as the plant may be in a vulnerable state.

According to the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), pruning at the correct time of year will minimise bleeding from pruning cuts.

They said: “Bleeding from pruning cuts can be unsightly but it is usually not harmful, and will naturally heal over time.

“In rare cases, prolonged bleeding may lead to loss of vigour and even death of the tree or shrub.”

However, the best thing to do is to let the shrub heal naturally, making sure to only cut it when it is the right time of year.

Making the wrong cuts

Making the wrong cuts is an absolute no-go when it comes to pruning plants, so it’s important to know where you’re cutting.

A proper cut minimises bleeding and damage to the shrub, allowing it to heal naturally and quickly.

An improper cut involves cutting too close to a trunk of a tree, or cutting too far away, causing damage to it.

While each plant and shrub will need to be pruned differently, the aim is to remove diseased and damaged branches to encourage new growth.

Pruning too much

Gardening experts at Sutton Manor Nursery explained: “With all the overgrown shrubs from the previous months, it is understandable that you are eager to start getting your shrubs in shape.

“However you mustn’t overdo it. If done too aggressively, it can permanently damage a plant and stunt its growth and make it susceptible to diseases.

“Pruning is simply cutting leaves and leaves are what a plant needs to make food. Therefore, over-pruning your plant means it cannot make food.”

If you think you have pruned too much, make sure to leave the plant to recover for some time.


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