How to Prune Evergreen Shrubs

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How to Prune Evergreen Shrubs - Provided by eHow
When pruned, evergreen shrubs thrive even more, as cutting out every third or fourth branch exposes more of the interior to sunlight, encouraging new growth. Trim back an evergreen shrub to keep it properly maintained with instructions from a sustainable... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi this Yolanda Vanveen and in this segment we're going to talk about how to prune evergreen shrubs. Now shrubs will grow whether you prune them or not. But it's very good for the plant and for the future growth if you prune it once a year. And in nature, animals come through and prune it or windstorms will cut it back a little back and naturally plants get pruned. So when we prune them in our gardens, there's a couple rules you should follow. First of all you never want to prune a plant more than one third at one time and the best time to prune your plants is in the fall or the winter when they're dormant. And the easiest way to prune your shrubs is to cutout every third branch. And not evenly with the other side, just every fourth branch, every third branch, every second branch, just so that it's even and that there's some sunlight going in and that it can grow. So when you're pruning any kind of fruit tree, the goal is to cutout a lot of the random branches towards the top of the tree because those are usually the more fruity branches that's going to produce the more fruit and you want to thin it out about one third the size each year and that way it won't just get tall and lanky and it'll fill up and you'll get a lot more fruit quicker. And so just by cutting out see the lighter colored branches you can get a lot more fruit and you just trim them out and even it out. So there's more sun that gets into the middle branches and the tree will do much better. If you have a fruit tree that's been established and it's really tall and not producing fruit and you have not pruned it very much, then you can actually cutout some of the top branches and what you're making is called a vase cut. By doing that, you're forcing most of the growth back down to the bottom part of the tree and you'll get a lot more fruit for the next year. So when you're pruning any type of a tree, you want to be really careful to cut it at the right angle. For example, if it's a large branch, you want to cut first at one side and then the other side and then you're cutting that whole heavy branch off because if you just cut from one angle, it might actually hurt some of the bark and get into the main trunk and you never want to hurt the main trunk because you will lose a tree if it gets too damaged. And you don't want to cut it too far out either where the C D cut is because what happens is then it gets too much moisture and it'll rot and there's too much dead material. You want to cut it right at a little bit of an angle leaving one to two inches right at where the tree is reading with the main trunk. Same thing, you never want to cut right up to the trunk line and make a solid cut because what happens is the tree gets very damaged and sometimes it will eventually kill the tree because it doesn't have bark to protect the main trunk and that is what's needed. Just by cutting back your branches one third and cutting all the dead limbs out, you will force more air to come in and then that way it will grow much more lush for the next year. And you don't have to cut it all the way to the main stem or the main trunk, it's good just to trim one third of the stem back and then periodically maybe cutout some of the wimpier branches. That way it will grow much fuller and you'll have a beautiful shrub for the next year.