It’s hot outside. Gardeners can escape summer’s heat by retreating to the air-conditioning or a shady porch, but garden plants... Read more »
August in the garden can be challenging for both gardeners and plants. Read more »
Extreme heat merits triage treatments Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Pruner, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear technology m... Read more »
Specifically designed to reduce the effort required to cut tough tree and shrub branches, this durable pruner includes an easy-... Read more »
This pro-style pruner features adjustable blade tension to fit your hand strength and the toughness of the material you’re cutt... Read more »
Reusable snack packs are an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic baggies, and not only are they much cuter, they’ll... Read more »
Using Duck Tape® to cover a simple notebook can take your journals from mediocre to marvelous in no time! Read more »
These sturdy little Duck Tape® magnetic pockets are easy to make and will help keep a locker organized and small school suppli... Read more »
As the parent of a picky eater, my morning routine before school always entails packing a lunch. Read more »
With a new school year on the horizon, it is time to refocus on our fall wardrobe. Read more »
This simple school skirt is very easy to make and beginner seamstresses will enjoy making more than one! Read more »
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 »
Taking a photo of your children on their first day back at school after a long summer is a tradition in many families. Read more »
It's time to get into back-to-school mode! That means it's time to begin browsing the store shelves for the necessities to hel... Read more »
“Painting” with tissue paper is not only fun but beautiful! Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
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 »
A new school year calls for a new set of accessories. Read more »
There is something fun and freeing about creating mixed media art, especially when you only need a few tools and a little time... Read more »
With school coming up, it is time to start planning and organizing. Read more »
Infused with avant-garde Scandinavian style, our Quantum™ Pruner integrates only the highest-grade materials with Scandinavian... 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 »
Use our AdvantEdge™ Punch System with any Fiskars border punch cartridge (sold separately) to add perfectly aligned decorative... 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.