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Pruning Questions & Answers
Pruning Questions & Answers with 
"Help-me   Rhonda"   at  Motlow   Creek   Gardens       
Question # 1:   What type of pruners should I use ?
Answer:   Bypass pruners are the most popular type of pruner and will be used 80% of  the time.  Bypass pruners have a curved blade that "bypasses" a hook in the same manner as scissor blades work.   Bypass pruner are NOT typically used for pruning dry, dead or hard old growth.
Anvil pruners are used for cutting dry or dead wood.  The anvil pruner features a single, straight edged cutting blade that closes against the anvil.

Question # 2:   What is a proper cut?
Answer:   Proper cuts should be slanted at 45 degrees to prevent water from collecting in the cut.   Proper cuts require sharp, clean pruning equipment.  

Question #3:  What is the proper maintenance on my garden pruners?
Answer:   Clean the blades of your pruners after each use with rubbing alcohol or other solvent.  This will remove sticky sap residue that will build up and dull pruners over time.  Apply a light coating of oil on the joints and exposed metal prior to storing  your pruners.   A flat-file pruner sharpener may be used to maintain the sharp edge of your pruner  blades.  Visit the garden center and I will show you the correct flat-file and demonstrate how to use it properly so you can take care of your pruners for the life of your garden.
Question #4:  When is the best time to prune?
Answer:   Pruning should be done year-round AS needed.  Removal of dead, diseased or damaged branches should be done as soon as possible, regardless of the time of year.  The best time to prune depends on the particular plant you are working with in your  landscape.  MOST plants that flower during the spring are usually pruned after  they bloom, of course there are some exceptions to this rule.   I would encourage you to attend one of our pruning demonstrations held each spring to learn
more specific pruning guidelines. 
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