Last Chance Pruning
with before and after photos
So, why spring prune?
- To cut out diseased and dying wood resulting from the harsh winter.
- To cut out any branch or stem that has crossed over another, potentially rubbing and wounding it's neighbouring branch.
- To build a good framework. In deciduous plants, this is much easier, as your view is not hampered by leaves.
- To open up the plant to receive more air and light, therefore limiting it's chances of succumbing to pest and disease due to overcrowding of vegetation.
- Easier to get around, before growth of neighbouring plants make access for pruning difficult.
- To obtain material for propagation in the form of softwood cuttings. Dozens of new plants can be made for free from one years spring pruning.
|This rose had already been reduced in size by about half, last autumn.|
This is how it looked before pruning at the end of March.
The right group is everything
Group 1These Clematis are early flowering species and their cultivars which flower on last seasons (last years) wood. Therefore, if you were to cut them down to the ground, they would have nothing to flower on. As this is the case for these clematis, they need to be pruned lightly, with only tangled or wild growth removed. They can of course be shaped as you would any climbing plant (say over a pergola), but it is more a case of control than anything else. These are the best clematis to grow up trees, as they can scramble to their hearts content.
| fig2: The President|
Group 2 pruning
|fig1: An unknown variety|
Group 2 pruning
|My Group 2 Clematis.|
Before pruning, my unknown variety (fig1), and 'The President' (fig2),
are a tangled mess with the honeysuckle.
|After pruning with a mixture of sheers and secateurs,|
I cut back the mass of tangled stems.
The pruned stems are hidden beneath the Ivy,
but in a few weeks time, new growth
will be visible once again.
|A few spring flowers added to the corner, and it's finished until the summer bedding goes in.|
Time to be ruthless
|The thug Honeysuckle before pruning|
|The thug Honeysuckle has nowhere to hide|
|The thug Honeysuckle tamed (one of it's thick stems can be seen on the left of this photo.|
Sometimes you just have to be cruel to be kind.