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Prune most trees and shrubs when they’re dormant or immediately after flowering. However, you can prune anytime to remove wood that is:

  • Dead, dying, or diseased
  • Crossing or rubbing against other portions of the plant
  • A safety threat, such as dangling branches or storm-damaged trunks
Bow Saw

Bow Saw

Cut large tree and shrub branches

Lopper

Lopper

For reaching shrub & overhead branches

Pruning Saw

Pruning Saw

For reaching tightly spaced branches

Anvil Pruner

Anvil Pruner

For making clean cuts into dead wood

Bypass Pruner

Bypass Pruner

For making clean cuts into living wood

TIP: When cutting off diseased wood, wipe blades with a 100 percent alcohol solution between cuts to avoid spreading the disease to other branches or trees.

  1. Pruning is too difficult for the average gardener to learn: There are a lot of plant types in the world, but with a little research and knowledge from Woodland Tools, it can be rewarding to see your yard reach its full potential.
  2. If I do not prune at the right time, I will kill my plants: Plants could be injured on occasion, but it is unlikely that you will kill your plants. Consult the Woodland Tools Tips and Tricks page to ensure the health of your plant.
  3. All pruning must be done in the winter: It depends! Many plants should be pruned in the growing season shortly after it has bloomed. For more information, check out our: “What to prune and when” article in the Tips and Tricks area of woodlandtools.com.
  4. Removing a tree is a crime against nature: We encourage you to nurture nature, but if a tree or plant is in the wrong place functionally, it will not thrive and should be moved. This is especially true if the tree or plant must be mutilated to eliminate the problem it is causing as it will open it up to insects and disease.
  5. Evergreen trees need to be pruned each year: False! Evergreens should only be pruned to remove dead, diseased, or damaged limbs. Or to control their shape. We suggest using a Woodland Tools Lopper for the best experience.
  6. Hedge Shears can cut everything: The biggest blade will not cut the biggest log. Hedge Shears are designed to cut hedges only. For larger branches, use a Woodland lopper or saw.
  7. All cut surfaces must be treated with pruning paint: False! Plants and trees produce their own protective barriers, so there is no need to treat the plant with additional materials. We recommend using a clean and sharp Woodland Tool for precise cuts.

Maybe you planted some flowers and trees, or maybe they have been in your yard for years. Either way, did you know that you should prune them each year to keep them healthy and growing for years to come? We know that this can seem like a large task, but it is critical for the long-term success of your yard!

When you prune depends on a couple of things. First is the type of plants you have and second is the climate you live in. For example, trees and shrubs that bloom in the spring begin to grow new buds as soon as the old flowers have fallen, therefore it is critical to prune before the new buds come in.

Alternatively, flowering and fruiting plants need to be cut back in the late winter or early spring to produce a healthy crop. Here are some quick tips depending on the type of plant or tree you are pruning:

Perennials may be the most labor-intensive plant to maintain, but it is simple. Use a Woodland Tools Pruner and trim regularly all season long to remove dead leaves and branches. At the end of the season, they should be cut back entirely to encourage growth for the next season.

Evergreens can largely be left alone to grow as pruning can stress or expose the tree to disease. Evergreens should only be pruned with a Woodland Tools lopper to remove diseased, broken, or dead branches as these are open invites for pests and diseases to spread through the tree.

Flowering Trees, Shrubs, and Vines should be pruned with a Woodland Tools Lopper or Hedge Shear based on when they bloom. For flowering trees, and vines that bloom in the early spring, they should be trimmed shortly after the petals fall off. For plants that bloom in the summer, they should be pruned with a Woodland Tools Lopper or Hedge Shear in the early spring or fall of each year.