Don’t overlook your deciduous shrubs and trees
Firstly, if you find yourself dreading the December prune just remember, deciduous trees and plants shed their leaves during winter. This means it’s far easier to find any damaged or diseased wood which needs to be removed, creating the ideal shape for your plants too – so it’s a great place to start!
Pruning your plants whilst dormant
A vital step this winter; if you prune whilst your plants lay dormant it will keep them invigorated. It will also help their development as they’re less susceptible to damage from insects and fungi during this time of year. Pruning your trees correctly will lead to a healthy, reconstructive growth giving them a head start in spring time.
Consider your roots
If you’re planning to or have recently planted a shrub, tree or fruit bush it’s imperative to encourage the development of a robust root system and this can be achieved by pruning. Recently planted fruit bushes in particular should be pruned in order to minimise branching. Thinning and trimming your fruit bush to a total of four healthy branches will allow the plant to distribute energy roots and these specific stems will produce a better yield – in other words your fruit will be full of flavour and taste delicious! Cutting out weak and trailing branches will also promote the growth of sturdy shoots in spring.
Give your plants space!
Even plants need a little personal space! Overcrowding of roots means more competition for light, oxygen and nutrients, which in turn could lead to pests, disease and weaker plants. Additionally, detritus such as stalk and dead branches become abrasive, damaging the bark and debilitating your healthy shoots, so make sure to remove them.