Ask any gardener what they want most from their garden, and you're likely to hear, more produce, abundant blooms and perfectly shaped trees, shrubs and hedges. One of the best ways to help ensure that gardening nirvana is pruning. Experts know that well-pruned plants and trees will yield more fruit, bigger and better blooms and healthier plants. And with spring just around the corner, it's time to get the work done. You can do it quickly and efficiently with these 4 essential pruning tools; bypass pruners for fresh green stems, anvil pruners for removing and cutting out dead wood, bypass loppers for the bigger limbs and a folding hand saw to remove the bigger stuff. Done right, your trees and plants will reward you with a successful bounty, season after season. Not sure where to start? Keep reading for some great ideas and resources that can help.
Where to Start
Pruning is an essential part of maintaining good tree and plant health, so don't shy away from it. Note that not all shrubs should be pruned at this time of year. Done at the wrong time of year, pruning could limit growth and flowers in the summer months. The best place to start is by downloading, Corona's Principles of Pruning is a free guide that is packed with many of the basic how-to's for pruning confidently.
Timing Your Pruning is Key
Making the right cuts, at the right time with the right tool will help ensure a better crop of fruit, blooms and foliage. Joe Lamp'l of Growing a Greener World on PBS, shares some sage advice on Biggest Pruning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them in his Joe Gardener video series, presented by Corona Tools. For the hydrangea enthusiast, check out our two part podcast, Demystifying Hydrangeas with Proven Winners.
Recommended Pruning Tools for the Job
Pruning Live Stems & Branches
Prune live rose canes, trees, woody shrubs and vines with a bypass pruner. FlexDIAL® lets you adjust how wide the pruner opens, up to 3/4 in., to maximize cutting power and reduce hand fatigue when there is much work to be done. It provides gardeners with a custom fit for small to extra large hand sizes.
Dead tree branches, rose canes and thick vines can seriously damage a good pair of bypass pruners. Look for an anvil-style pruner like the RatchetCUT™ that helps power through tough deadwood. It makes a series of smaller, full-leverage cuts which is easier on your hands. It will save your favorite pair of bypass pruners and added hand stress when making a large cut.
Live Limbs & Branches 1 - 2 in
A bypass lopper can be the ideal choice when cutting larger limbs and branches. Remember, while a lopper like the DualLINK™ Forged Bypass Lopper may be rated for cutting up to 2 inches, the larger the limb, the more upper body strength you'll need to successfully make the cut. If it's difficult to make a cut, look to a Corona hand saw to zip through the cut.
Branches & Limbs Greater Than 2 in
One of the easiest ways to tackle larger limbs and branches is a pruning saw. These are a must have for every gardener. Many are compact like the RazorTOOTH Saw® - 7 in Folding Saw that fit nicely in your tool pouch and can be tossed in a backpack when you're out on the trails. Some have an available replaceable blade option, making them a sound investment.
Spring Cleaning and Maintenance in Your Yard
While proper pruning helps ensure healthier plants and trees, it's also the ideal time to do spring clean up and maintenance in your yard. Take time to inspect your irrigation and drip systems for leaks which can result in wasted water, but also poorly irrigated plants and crops or brown spots in the lawn. Check out this podcast episode for 6 steps for saving up to 85% of landscape water use.
One of the most important maintenance tasks you can do is spreading a thick layer of mulch that will help suppress weeds, while helping the soil retain moisture throughout the hot, dry months. Want more great suggestions for effective spring cleaning projects that will get the most from your garden? Check out Greenpal's Spring Clean Up Guide.