STIHL Spring Pruning Guide

Person with hand held hedge clippers, trimming a tree
September 14, 2017

Spring has arrived — time to get out into the garden and show it some TLC. STIHL Shop Geebung is here to take the mystery out of pruning your shrubs and trees with a quick-and-easy guide to your spring trimming requirements.

Reasons for pruning:

  • Stimulate growth and rejuvenate old or neglected shrubs.
  • Improve the quality and quantity of fruit and flowers.
  • Direct growth to make your plants look more dense.
  • Keep a plant’s size in check.
  • Decrease the amount of shade on lawns and bed plantings.
  • Decrease the weight on the trunk and branches of trees.
  • Increase airflow and sunlight to the inner sections of trees.
  • Remove dead or diseased wood to preserve the integrity of the entire plant.
  • Improve the look of your yard and home.

When to prune:

The best time to prune your plants will be dependant on several factors — the most important being when it blooms. Plants that bloom in early spring form their flower buds on twigs that grew in the previous summer. Pruning these in autumn or winter will remove the flower buds; instead, spring-flowering plants should be pruned in spring or early summer, after their blooms are spent.

Other plants bloom on the current season’s growth, and can be pruned in autumn or winter without affecting the next season’s display.

Pruning dormant trees may cause them to lose too much sap (or ‘bleed’), but they will typically seal their wounds during the next growing season, making late winter and early spring an idea time for pruning.

But removal of dead or damaged wood should be done immediately, regardless of timing.

To make it easier, here is a simple chart of when to prune some popular trees and shrubs:

Type of plant When to prune How to prune
Apple Late winter/early spring Keep tree open and allow main branches to be well-spaced. Prune moderately, avoiding sharp v-shaped crotches.
Cherry Late winter/early spring Prune broken branches or any branch that is crowding others.
Clipped hedges Early spring Shear new growth frequently, keeping the top narrower than the base.
Hydrangeas Spring/summer (this may vary for different types of hydrangeas) Cut back existing growth to two plump eyes or leaf buds. Don’t prune into old grey wood.
Lilac After flowering Remove flower heads, suckers, and diseased growth. Encourage younger stems to grow by removing some of the oldest shoots all the way to the ground.
Peach Late winter/early spring Remove last season’s growth. The best fruit will grow close to the stronger main branch; shorten lateral branches to keep them close to the tree’s central framework.
Perennial flowers After flowering Shear overly long perennials back to 6-12 inches above the ground. Remove faded flowers (deadhead) to promote another cycle of blooms.
Plum Late winter/early spring Cut dead, diseased branches. Plums should be pruned to keep fruit close to main framework branches.
Rose (excluding climbers) Spring, after frosts Remove dead or winter-damaged canes. Cut branches to four or five bud eyes (the small protrusions where a leaf used to be).
Rose (climbers) After flowering Cut half of last season’s growth. Preserve new shoots for next year.
Wisteria Spring/summer Prune existing growth back to around four leaves or 15cm from old stem.

Pruning tools:

Any professional landscaper will tell you that having high-performance tools is an absolute must. There are some essential pieces of equipment that every avid gardener should have. STIHL has a wide range of products to suit any job, allowing you to expertly prune different plants, shrubs and trees in your garden.

  • Secateurs — Sturdy and long-lasting, our range of secateurs are an essential all-rounder tool for your trimming jobs, from deadheading flowers to removing frost-struck stems.
    You may like: Universal Secateurs
  • Pruning shears — STIHL Pruning Shears can easily trim through hard or dead wood, and feature non-stick coated blades and a deep sap groove to prevent sticking.
    You may like: Anvil Pruning Shears
  • Cordless Hedge Trimmers — Make quick work of your hedges while promoting neat, uniform shapes with our light, efficient, clean-cutting trimmers.
    You may like: HSA 66 with optimised cutter bar
  • Long Reach Hand Tools — From fruit picking to tree lopping, our long reach garden tools are the safe and capable option for pruning and caring for your trees.
    You may like: HTA 85 Cordless Pole Pruner

Whether you’re looking for the latest gardening tools, want to service or sharpen your existing equipment, or just want some friendly advice, pop in and visit the team at STIHL Shop Geebung.


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