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Out of season pruning, golden rules, etc

IronSquirrelIronSquirrel London usuallyPosts: 68
MODS feel free to move this into plants if you feel it belongs there instead.

What are the boiled down, easy to remember rules for occasions where you think you might have to do a branch removal or two on a a shrub or smaller tree?



These are just Examples (that I've recently had to try look into), 

- Pearl bush. Likes light pruning of new growth after just after flowering to encourage extra bloom the year after, and I'd like to. But last week, at our introduction I see its thickest trunks crossing, and even rubbing against each other and they should go before it gets further damaged

- A skinny but healthy Japanese maple of about 5 ft, which is suffering from sunstroke and is looking to have a damaged branch that itself has about 1 quarter of its entire leaves on it.

Any help, much appreciated


“One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”
Trolius & Cressida
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Posts

  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 20,596
    I don’t know what a pearl Bush is, but if I find anything that needs to come off, it comes off regardless of the time. 
    Never lost anything yet.
    Not saying you should do that, it’s just what I do. I do make sure any branches are cut on an angle and not flat though. 
    I’m a no faff gardener.🙂
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • bcpathomebcpathome Buckinghamshire Posts: 536
    Me too .If it’s in the wrong place or I don’t like the look of it ,off it comes .
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    With the Acer, it's probably better to wait until dormant. 
    You can certainly take a dead stem/branch back, but don't cut into the new growth just now. Just to be on the safe side. I usually wait a while with those. It's easy to lose them. 
    I don't know what a pearl bush is either. Can you give us the botanical name @IronSquirrel? Is it a Pieris?
    Having said that, I also do as @Lyn describes, especially if branches are causing a potential problem.  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • punkdocpunkdoc Sheffield, Derbyshire border.Posts: 12,003
    Do you mean Exochorda, for the Pearl bush?
    Consequences, altered cases
    Broken noses, altered faces
    My ego altered, altered egos
    Wherever I go, so does me go
  • IronSquirrelIronSquirrel London usuallyPosts: 68
    punkdoc's right, but it doesn't matter since that plan's fallen through haha 

    So what of apple trees when they're under the weather ?
    “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”
    Trolius & Cressida
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,496
    Depends why they’re under the weather …. We’d need to know more about symptoms, photos would help. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 47,198
    Photos definitely help when it comes to damage and/or disease @IronSquirrel. We're just making guesses otherwise.  :)  
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....


  • NollieNollie Girona, Catalunya, Northen Spain.Posts: 5,961
    Anything dead, diseased, dying, crossing/rubbing or wayward growth sticking out at weird angles comes off anytime here too. Except trees or shrubs that would bleed and/get diseased if done in winter. If a branch is storm damaged or snapped then it’s better to prune right away to clean up the wound, regardless of the time of year.

    I would think the golden rule is to know your tree/shrub so you are aware of the best time to prune and how lopper-happy you can be. I roughly divide mine into one of two categories:

    1) warm weather pruning - when in growth, late spring to early autumn/after flowering

    2) cool weather pruning - when dormant, late winter to early spring/after fruiting

    Then into two further subcategories:

    a) light pruning - some trees dislike heavy pruning or need the previous year’s growth to flower/fruit on in the next, so get no more than a quick tidy if necessary

    b) heavy pruning - those that fruit/flower on new growth and/or need a good haircut to keep compact and healthy

  • IronSquirrelIronSquirrel London usuallyPosts: 68
    Thanks Nollie, I think that's pretty much it.


    “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin”
    Trolius & Cressida
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 79,496
    Remember the old saying that 'growth follows the knife' which means that if you want a branch to grow you should cut it harder back than if you want it to remain roughly the same.  

    This is useful to know when trying to even up a lopsided fruit tree for example.  It seems counter-intuitive, but on a lopsided tree you should cut back the lesser side more than the fuller side.  It works. 
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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