Three plants to prune now for ‘healthy regrowth and vibrant blooms’ next spring

Monty Don shares tips for pruning fruit trees

When done correctly, pruning promotes healthier and more productive growth, but it must be done at the correct times of the year.

Leading ladder specialist and pruning expert Henchman has compiled a guide to cutting back plants this winter.

1. Deciduous trees and shrubs

The experts explained: “For most deciduous trees and shrubs, winter is a season of dormancy, making it the ideal time to tackle pruning them.

“Carrying out this task during the winter season minimises the amount of stress the tree or shrub is put under and allows it to redirect its energy toward healing and new growth without the demands of producing foliage.

“With the leaves gone, the structure of the tree and shrub are more visible, making it easier to identify the correct branches for removal.

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“It also means that come spring, the tree or shrub will be more likely to have healthy growth and development of new shoots and branches.”

When pruning, the cut should be clean and precise, executed at an angle to encourage water runoff and prevent disease.

2. Fruit trees

According to the pros, fruit trees can become too tall and wild if left untouched for a long period of time.

Annual pruning helps to manage their size, making it easier to harvest fruit and care for the tree.

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The experts said: “By selectively removing branches, you stimulate the growth of new, fruit-bearing branches and buds, leading to a more abundant harvest next season.

“However, there are several common mistakes that must be avoided. Pruning at the wrong time, skipping pruning for a year, or being too vigorous can all cause harm to your plants.

“Timing is crucial – doing so at the wrong time of the year can have harmful effects on your fruit tree. To minimise stress and reduce the risk of disease transmission, it’s best to prune during the dormant season, which is usually in late winter or early spring.

“Trimming your fruit tree during summer or autumn can stimulate new growth that doesn’t have time to harden before winter, making the tree more susceptible to frost and cold weather, which can weaken the tree in the long run.”

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It is important not to remove too much at any one time because it may result in a range of issues such as a stressed tree.

3. Rose bushes

Keeping rose bushes well-maintained is essential when encouraging “healthy regrowth and vibrant blooms”.

Pruning them in the winter during their dormant period offers several benefits, according to the experts.

They explained: “Firstly, it allows the removal of dead, diseased or damaged branches that may be harming the bush’s overall health and helps shape the plant encouraging proper air circulation and sunlight penetration.

“This can help prevent fungal diseases and the spread of unwanted pests.”

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