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How to properly prune trees in the garden: the rule of three Ds

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Pruning makes the garden not only well-groomed but also healthier

Beginner gardeners often have many questions about how to properly prune plants in the garden. All care instructions recommend this procedure but do not specify how to do it.

The rule of three Ds will come to the rescue here. It was formulated for the Express by experts from the Royal Horticultural Society.

The three Ds are recommendations to remove branches that are dead, diseased, and damaged. This will allow the tree or shrub to focus its energies on healthy parts and grow more strong branches with a greater potential for flowering.

Pruning trees

When caring for the crown of trees, in addition to following the principle of the three Ds, you should also pay attention to branches that rub against each other and grow weakly. The former can become an entrance gate for infection, while the latter take away the tree's strength in vain.

Cut off branches that are less than 2.5 cm in diameter with secateurs or loppers. The cut should be above a healthy bud, a pair of buds, or a side shoot. Avoid pruning too close to a bud as this can lead to its death. Cut off the branches that fall under the rule completely: do not leave a stump from them.

Many deciduous trees are pruned in winter when they are dormant. And evergreen trees can be pruned between April and August.

Pruning shrubs

Bushes need to be trimmed to prevent them from becoming an unkempt, shapeless mass of green. Branches should be removed immediately after flowering or before the start of the warm season, in February-March.

Although pruning depends on the individual needs of the plant and its species, certain general rules can be formulated. Be sure to tie up new and side shoots to fill the vacant space inside the bush. Do not forget to remove shoots that are too long as they often break off and can open up access to infection.

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