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Hard pruning advice please


By Bobo

London, United Kingdom Gb

I'm a complete beginner to all this lark but am reading up on pruning the various plants I've managed to keep alive in my garden this year.

There are lots of references to "hard pruning", which I take it means to cut right back to near the ground - but how far do I actually cut? How much do I leave above the ground when "hard pruning" is recommended? Should I be looking for buds to prune back to?




I suppose it depneds on the plant. If it is one which shoots from below ground then you can cut as far down as you choose. If it is a shrubby type then yes you look for an outward facing bud at the base of the stem to be cut. Only thing to watch out for is if it is a grafted plant, in which case you must not cut below the graft point (usually an easy to spot lump).
Indeed any hard pruning of woody material should only be taken back to a bud.
Watch out for those shrubs which will not shoot from old wood, like Lavender or Cytisus (Broom) and most Conifers.

16 Jun, 2009

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