Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
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Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
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A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
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Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
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Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
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Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
But, what is too much? And, can we really kill a plant by over-pruning it?
The answers, in order: It depends. And, yes.
Generally speaking most woody plants can easily tolerate having one quarter of their living mass removed each year. So, if you begin pruning by taking out the dead material, do not count that in your “safe amount” rule. However, the moment you begin removing suckers and other living branches, begin your tally. And total amount you remove will depend on a number of factors.
How old is the tree? In many cases, the older the tree, the less material it will tolerate losing. I think about it this way: the older I get, the harder it is for me to recover from illness or injury. It’s kind of the same for older trees and shrubs.
What kind of plant is it? Some shrubs, like Hydrangeas and Nandinas, function really well if about one third of their living branches are removed each year. But, if you cut the entire shrub to the ground, it may not come back at all. Other plants like Twig Dogwoods and Butterfly bushes look their very best if most of the plant is cut to just a stump each late winter. If you’re in doubt, ask at your local nursery or stick with removing only a third of the plant each year.
Does it really need to be cut?Think about a forest. Trees and shrubs in the woods do just fine without people coming in to prune them every year. So, quite often the “less is more” rule applies. Keep your cuts to a minimum, and if you do not have time to trim your rhodies each spring, they will probably survive just fine without a trim.
There are several reasons why cutting less material is ideal. Plants put a lot of energy into sealing up each cut to protect themselves from potential infections, pests and disease. Too, plants need branches on which leaves form in order effectively feed themselves. If they can’t photosynthesize sufficiently, they will starve and die.
So, cut just a little and only when necessary. When it comes to pruning, a military buzz cut will do more than humiliate your tree. Quite likely, it will kill it.