Why is winter pruning beneficial to both you and your plants
06.02.2019 in News
Pruning your plants effectively can give them the best opportunity for growth in the following months. What you’re trying to achieve when you prune your plants will differ depending on what kind of plant it is, however the overall purpose is to control the direction of growth and to promote your plant’s health.
The time that a plant flowers or bears fruit will influence when the most suitable time to prune it is, but for the majority of garden plants winter is the best time to get it done. To name a few, you would want to focus on deciduous trees and shrubs, apple and pear trees, autumn flowering plants and flower bushes such as roses and wisteria.
There are several reasons why winter pruning is beneficial to you and your plants:
- Plant Happiness
Like humans, plants feel pain when they are picked at, and because most plants remain dormant during winter, pruning them whilst they are dormant will help them prosper when they start to grow again. Minimising the stress to the plant will allow you to be more aggressive with your strategy and make larger cuts where necessary to prevent things like rubbing branches.
You’ll want to use dormant pruning techniques on overgrown plants so that the plant can have new and healthy growth. This is usually referred to as “thinning” which is great because it allows more light and air to the core of the plant.
Another important thing to note is that sap isn’t active in certain plants during the winter, so the cuts you make are less likely to cause “bleeding”.
Winter trees can potentially be dangerous, especially when they have heavy snow or ice weighing on their branches. By pruning out any branches that may have been weakened by disease or rot, you can make your garden a safer place to be.
- Increased visibility
During the winter we all notice that most of the leaves and flowers have fallen away from the branches of our trees and plants. This is advantageous when it comes to pruning because it allows you to see the “skeleton” of plants. With this increased visibility you can be sure that you won’t make any critical cuts to major branches and it will decrease the amount of time that it takes you to get the job done.
- Prevents disease
One thing that the fallen winter leaves will also allow you to do better, is identify diseased branches that could potentially be harmful to the rest of your plant. By pruning out these branches during the winter period you reduce the risk of the disease spreading because the fungi is not active like it would be during the Spring or Summer.
- Summer bloom
Pruning in the summer can sometimes be problematic because the young and new branches that you will leave exposed may not make it through the coldest parts of winter because they haven’t had the time to fully develop. That’s why it’s best to leave it until just after the coldest part of winter has passed – although with the UK weather it is sometimes hard to know! You can then give your plants ample time to grow for the start of a beautiful bloom in the Summer.
Putting your work into action
In order to put our suggestions to work and prune effectively, it is worth noting that there are different kinds of pruners for different purposes. The main types are Anvil pruners and Bypass pruners.
i) Anvil Pruners
Anvil pruners are great for removing dead wood and dying branches. They make a really clean cut by using a singular blade that passes through the branch with ease and is then stopped by a flat side, almost like a knife to a cutting board.
ii) Bypass Pruners
You’re going to want to use this tool for most of your pruning tasks. The blade on the bypass pruners works much more like a pair of scissors whereby two blades pass each other. This motion is much gentler for the plant and will cause almost no damage or trauma to the branch.
Pruning your plants is key to ensuring that they grow healthily and preventing the spread of disease. At Original Organics we have a wide range of pruners and a huge range of garden tools for all your garden jobs so check out our products today and get your plants feeling healthy and ready for Spring.