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Video:How to Prune Shrubs

with Charlie Siegchrist

Have your shrubs grown out of control? These pruning tips will help you get your yard back in order.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Prune Shrubs

Hi, I'm Charlie Siegchrist for About.com Home and Garden, and today we are talking about pruning.

Tools Needed to Prune Shrubs

The tools we will be using are, first, a pair of hand pruners. Be sure to choose a size that is good for your hand, comfortable to work in and easy to close. For the next size up we have a lopper, and for the biggest cuts that we will undertake, this is a pruning saw.

Prune Abrasive Branches

The first thing you do is remove all the dead and diseased material in the plant. In this particular plant since it is very young we do not have any dead or diseased. We do however have a structural problem. Sometimes you will have two branches that are rubbing one against the other. And if you look carefully there is an abrasion.

So you have two branches to choose between, and since this branch is down low, in not a very good direction compared to the other one, this is the branch we select to remove. This branch is going to require the use of the pruning saw.

When we cut a branch we want to cut the underside of it first. What this does is sever the bark, so that when the branch fall of it does not tear the bark all the way back. So we make that relief cut underneath and then come in from the top and then remove the branch that we have taken.

Prune Split Branches

Here we have a branch that has split. So, we go down to where it joins the main stem, and again our first cut is the relief cut, and then you go through. We have a nice clean stub.

Prune Thinning Wood

The next pruning cut will be for thinning of the wood. What we want are branches that are headed outward toward the light. So branches that are headed inward, like this one, are cut off. When you make the cut try to have the sharp blade toward the stem that is going to be left, and, in one quick snap, take off the branch.

Prune Water Sprouts

These branches coming off of other stems that go straight up are known as suckers or water sprouts. They consume a lot of energy and make scant blooms, and they also clog up the center of the plant so it has now sculptural quality, so those we take off way down low. Most plants have a typical form, and ideal form, and your prune with that in mind.

In our quick run-through on this plant, virtually all our work was done on this side, and compare the sculptural appearance here, versus the bushy unkempt appearance on the other side.

Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the Web at homegarden.about.com.
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