Prune plants

Prune plants

Prune plants

Pruning is a cultivation technique applied to many species of plants, even for garden ones. With this technique a healthy and luxuriant growth of the cultivated species is favored, its physiology is modified to make it more resistant to attacks by parasites and other infectious agents and its growth is directed towards specific objectives, such as better production or particular ornamental effects. For prune plants need at least some basic knowledge of gardening, as errors and inaccuracies can not only compromise the development of plants, but even lead to their death. The methods of pruning of plants are many and are used to obtain specific results. Each method is suitable for particular plant species, although different techniques pruning they are applied indifferently to many crop varieties.

What plants to prune

Before delving into the "meanders" of the various pruning techniques, it should be noted that plants, in nature, do not need to be pruned, as they can very well grow healthy, luxuriant and in all their maximum splendor. Vegetable pruning was introduced by farmers and gardeners for very specific purposes which essentially are to increase the production of flowers and fruits, to contain the size of the plant and to give it the most harmonious shape possible. In the garden, the pruning of plants can be defined as a habit or a passion, even if often, it is dictated by the fact that, in small spaces, the cultivated plants could occupy inordinately areas that need to remain free, such as the windowsill or the roof. Another objective of the pruning of garden plants can be to obtain particular aesthetic and ornamental effects. This is the case, for example, of hedges or roses, but also of fruit trees that are hosted in private outdoor spaces for purely aesthetic and decorative purposes, without neglecting the quality of the production of the fruits that can easily be consumed by the owners. Some tree plants dislike pruning drastic that, if practiced, can compromise its growth and even cause its death. Among these species, so to speak "delicate", we remember the cherry tree, the horse chestnut, the apricot tree and all conifers in general.

  • Pruning pomegranate

    Pomegranate tree pruning is chosen for several reasons. First of all, the foliage will have more ventilation, will be exposed to more sunlight and the fruits will have the opportunity to grow luxuriantly ...

Types of plant pruning

As already mentioned in the previous paragraphs, there are many pruning techniques and all with very specific purposes that adapt to specific plant species. With the evolution of cultivation practices, and based on the period in which these pruning are carried out, natural pruning, rejuvenation, return, training and many others are distinguished. The main technique of plant pruning consists in making cuts that remove unnecessary or unproductive branches. When the cut aims to completely eliminate some parts of the plant, it is also called elimination pruning. Other “light” pruning interventions consist in leaving the branches on the plant and in removing only dry leaves or in partially cutting the branch, perhaps only in the upper part. In this case we speak of maintenance pruning or topping. In the case of other plant species, the so-called manual or uncut pruning is also practiced, which consist in moving the leaf branches that prevent the plant from carrying out chlorophyll photosynthesis or the fruits from receiving sunlight. The pruning of plants therefore consists in carefully guiding all the phases of their development in order to condition their productive, qualitative and aesthetic results.

Naturally prune the plants

Pruning plants in a natural way means practicing the simplest pruning technique that exists: the clean cut of some branches. This technique is suitable for fruit and ornamental trees and can be practiced by anyone with at least a minimum passion for gardening and a little love of plants. The cut branches must be completely eliminated and not left in half or pollarded. The elimination of some branches allows to give a good shape to the plant, to direct its growth, to ensure good air and light penetration and to give an aesthetically pleasing shape to the foliage. By orienting the shape of the plant you will automatically also have a good production and quality of the fruits. This pruning technique can be practiced precisely for fruit trees in your garden, taking care not to damage them with inaccurate and irregular cuts. To prune garden tree plants, you start by completely eliminating the old, broken and broken branches, and then also cut those that follow an irregular direction and which risk deforming the foliage of the plant, i.e. those grown towards the center of the same. Subsequent cuts will involve branches that cross each other or that grow too close to each other. This pruning allows you to proceed evenly while maintaining a number of branches that gives the plant an orderly and regular shape.

Return pruning

The return pruning consists in shortening the apical branches of the plants just above the lowest branch, in order to avoid the formation of sprouts (vertical branches) that create vegetative disorders and irregularities in the canopy. With this shortening cut, the function of the apical branch will be carried out by the immediately shorter one that will not interrupt the vegetative cycle, resulting in a more orderly growth of the crown and a reduction in cleaning and shortening interventions in the following years. The return cut can be practiced on fruit trees and ornamental shrubs, excluding the species that do not tolerate drastic pruning interventions. The return cut replaces the topping, which in addition to being aesthetically unpleasant, does not affect the regularity of the plant and the containment of its dimensions which in a short time return to being the usual ones. The shortening cut is also practiced on the branches of climbing species to block their excessive and disordered growth.

When it's how to prune plants

The pruning period of the plants and the cutting technique to be used will depend on the specific characteristics of the plants themselves. In this case, it is necessary to distinguish between species that give flowers and fruits on the branches of the previous year and those that produce them on the branches of the same year. The pruning of plants that bloom on the branches of the previous year is essentially an intervention to eliminate the unproductive branches, which should only be carried out after flowering or completed (summer). For the species that bloom in the branches of the same year, however, it is necessary to intervene twice: first with the pruning to eliminate the old, broken or broken branches and then with the shortening of the branches grown in the previous year. The first pruning operation is carried out in winter, hence the name of winter pruning, while the second, in spring or summer, when the plant is at its maximum vegetative splendor. In this case we speak of "green pruning".

Pruning the hedge

In the garden you can grow countless species of plants and not only those with flowers. Every single species needs specific pruning techniques that can allow us to create hedges and borders with particular decorative effects. For hedges, generally made up of evergreen and deciduous species, two different types of pruning are practiced: training and maintenance. The first consists of cuts to be made in the first two years of the hedge's life, cutting it at the base to allow the development of vigorous shoots. While from the third year onwards a maintenance pruning will be practiced by intervening with cuts that regulate the plant growth of the same. A garden hedge can be "built" with different plant varieties that may require more targeted and specific pruning interventions. For hedges that sprout from the root, a winter cut is made at least 20 centimeters above the ground, while in summer the topping will be carried out, i.e. the elimination of the apical part of the shoots and the cutting of the side branches. For hedges formed by flowering plants or bushes, we intervene in a more delicate way starting from the first and second year, in which shortening cuts are made. The hedges formed by evergreen plants do not require drastic cuts, but only operations to contain the elongation of the lateral branches. These cuts should only be made when the hedge is already adult. Then we will proceed in late spring or summer, shortening the side branches to maintain orderly growth.

Pruning flowering plants

The pruning of flowering plants essentially tends to enhance the aesthetic results of the plant species that bloom. The interventions of these plants will depend on the characteristics and the period of flowering, but also on the shape you want to give to the flowers or the quantity of them. To allow for good flowering, it is advisable to remove the dry or rotting parts and the withered flowers from the plant. This cleaning operation must be carried out in winter, while at the beginning of spring we proceed with the topping, cutting the apical branches, that is, those of the upper part of the leaves. This intervention allows the plant to produce many flowers. For succulents, however, only a pruning is practiced to eliminate diseased or unproductive parts or to take parts to be used in propagation by cuttings.

Pruning perennials

Perennials are species that live for more than two years. They include trees, but also herbaceous plants used for ornamental purposes also in the garden. Perennials can have an annual or two-year cycle and this conditions the pruning interventions which can be, depending on the case, drastic or light. The perennial species used to create borders require fairly incisive pruning to enhance the remission of the flowers, while in the case of shrub species it would be advisable to proceed with light pruning, maintenance or return, and not with clean cuts that risk impoverishing and reducing them. impair its regular growth.

Pruning is a necessary activity to keep our trees in perfect condition. It is a fundamental task in the maintenance of a garden.

In the following table we have listed some of the most common rates for this type of service:


Type of tariff Precio
Price per hour € 15 / h - € 25 / h
Price per day 120 € - 200 €
Pruning small trees From € 20 - € 30
Pruning large trees 100 € - 250 €
Pruning palms 150 € - 300 €

Remember that the figures we have provided are only an approximation. For example, the price of pruning the tallest trees can reach almost € 300, while on large fields with very small trees the price can be reduced between 1 and 3 € per unit.
In this regard, it is better to request the prices of tree pruning from a specialized company to evaluate your specific case, this is the only way to receive a quote suitable for your needs.

Also, only true professionals they will know how to remove the appropriate branches for your tree to maintain its good health, later using healing products to avoid deterioration.

Factors that can affect the price of pruning

However, in the pruning industry, the question of accessibility to work and the time elapsed since the last pruning should be highlighted as important aspects .

Collection of residues

Tree pruning always involves the production of plant residues, the remains of the vegetation that has been pruned. Of course, this waste must be disposed of properly, under penalty of an administrative penalty.

There are specific recycling points and there are private companies dedicated to rental of containers for pruning. It should be borne in mind that although all activities are sometimes carried out on private property, if it is necessary to place the containers on public roads, the corresponding permit must first be requested from the municipality.

And remember that not all pruning professionals will include this service in the quote, so don't forget to ask about it.

What type of pruning can be contracted?

There is a great diversity of trees and, therefore, a diversity of pruning methodology, because each tree may need specific and singular care.

In the following list we mention some of the most common types of pruning:

  • Safety or sanitation pruning: its goal is to eliminate those branches which, due to their deterioration, could become detached. The purpose is to avoid possible damage or accidents, it can also be useful to prevent the spread of pests or diseases or to better control the application of phytosanitary treatments and keep in mind that, depending on the health of the tree, sometimes the only solution is to cut it.
  • Fruiting pruning: focuses on pruning fruit trees. The goal is that the tree is in the best in order to produce fruit with adequate size and quality.
  • Maintenance pruning: even trees with a more ornamental function need to be pruned periodically to stay healthy and maintain an aesthetic appearance.
  • Pruning for renewal or rejuvenation: in this case, the removals of older branches and areas of the tree are performed so that they can be replaced by newer ones.
  • Thinning pruning: when the branches are very dense, it may be a good idea to remove some parts so that the light and air can better penetrate into the crown. In this way, problems such as mushrooms are avoided. Thinning pruning can also be done to remove lower branches when they affect visibility.
  • Pruning of hedges and shrubs: in a garden there must not be only trees. Bushes and hedges also need maintenance. With pruning, the branches are kept at a similar length and grow healthy, furthermore the pruning can be artistic or have an aesthetic purpose to give a unique look to our garden.

When is the best time for pruning?

Each tree has particular characteristics, including when is the best time to prune it. Many times it is believed that the best season of the year is the one that coincides with the dormant phase (from autumn, when the leaves fall, until spring). However it will depend on the type of tree and pruning.

For example, it is believed that a good time to perform maintenance pruning on ornamental trees is early in the year, while in the case of fruit trees there are pruning that can be done in the summer.

The best thing to do is to consult a pruning expert and rely on his experience and expertise to ensure the well-being of our vegetation.

Why is it important to prune trees?

Is there a need for permits to prune?

The answer to this question is: "it depends". The truth is, although we often think we are free to prune a tree on our property, some municipalities or regions have rules and procedures that govern this type of problem.

It is better to contact the corresponding public body to avoid a possible sanction, in the event that a type of license or pruning authorization is required.

If you need to prune trees or shrubs, our advice is to always rely on manpower and professional advice. Not only will professional gardeners know the applicable regulations in advance, they will also know which type of pruning is best for your greenery.

Where to prune? The best techniques for removing deadwood

That is where to go to put our scissors, shears or blades on the branch. Need leave the apical buds, which are the strongest of the whole plant and are found in the terminal part more generally, it is necessary to leave at least one bud on the branch and overall in a small number, so that they can better express the sap of the plant compared to a disproportionate number that would only contribute to fragmenting it.

The optimal cut it must be carried out at a distance of about 5 mm above the gem, with an angle as close to 45 degrees in the opposite direction to the gem itself. This should prevent the water from leaking onto the latter in case of rain. Finally, to give a 'direction' to the growth of the plant, a bud will be cut on the right to orient the branches to the right and vice versa to direct them to the other side.

What tools to use?

Very depends on the size of the plant itself. So you can go from scissors to a blade or two, to saws, to shears. One thing must be true for all types of tools: the cuts must be clean and in the case of injuries caused it is better to intervene with a mastic to prevent infections due to parasites or the cold.

Remember that nature is a friend, but also a stepmother: some plants are poisonous, such as oleander, and some have brambles and thorns so it is better to have well-sharpened blades and a good pair of work gloves. It goes without saying, however, that these these are only general indications wrong pruning leads to the death of the vegetation. It is always better to inquire first about the specificity of the plant and contact a professional when necessary.


There are several varieties of hedges. In general, almost all of the pruning period runs from the end of autumn to the beginning of spring. Pruning will take place immediately after the flowering period, which gives the garden luxuriance and beauty.

Among the hedges that bloom with extraordinary results, for example, Escallonia, Fotinia, and Tamerice are listed. For laurel hedges, on the other hand, pruning can take place twice a year (in winter). While the evergreens of conifers can be pruned throughout the year. Thuja and pitosforo form impenetrable but disciplined barriers, easy to prune.

The holly, on the other hand, having a fast growth requires continuous maintenance. Among the berry hedges here are the juniper and aucuba. Beware, however, the juniper has small thorns.

When to prune indoor plants

It is important to know when to prune indoor plants because
there are good times and bad times to accomplish this task.

The best time to prune indoor plants is right at
beginning of the growing season. For most houseplants, in late winter or early summer, the
spring, when the days get longer and the plants begin to wake up, is there
the best time.

For flowering plants, you can prune immediately after one
flowering cycle if you choose to prune. This will allow you not to
to prune all future unopened buds.

Why and how to prune garden plants

Pruning plants is an indispensable cultivation technique, but it must be used in an appropriate and appropriate way for the different ornamental species.
Many garden essences suffer from cuts and need only rare interventions to maintain the characteristic conformation of the species and to grow in the best conditions of health. However, pruning operations are also considered the simple elimination of dead, sick or injured branches: indeed, these are interventions not to be neglected. For example, often even the simple proximity of two branches that clash, collide and rub each other can lead to the onset of wounds that become the weak point of the plant, the gateway for bacteria and viruses: elimination will be necessary. of one of the two branches to avoid the onset of serious pathologies. Furthermore, pruning allows to suppress the weak and thin branches that form in the center of the crown, always poorly developed because they do not receive enough air and light, therefore useless for the production of flowers or fruits, indeed often harmful because they cause an unhealthy microclimate. Their removal increases aeration, decreases humidity and ultimately facilitates the growth of the main branches.
So, in conclusion, pruning is always necessary: ​​it is important that it is carried out correctly, with appropriate intensity according to the species and size, in the times and in the most suitable ways.

In a garden, pruning has different objectives depending on the development phase of the plant on which you are working:

  • on young specimens its main purpose is to favor a harmonious development of vegetation
  • on adult plants, the interventions aim to keep them as vital as possible and prolong the period of maximum splendor
  • on "old" plants (or, better, mature) with the pruning you try to rejuvenate and keep the hair always thick and in the best conditions of health.

To know more: E. Boffelli-G. Sirtori, Pruning and reproduction in the garden, Giunti 2009