Pruning of a plant is the practise of selectively removing parts of a plant such as branches, buds, or roots. It is done both for aesthetic purposes as well as to improve the health of the tree. Although trees can naturally live without being pruned, it increases their longevity and reduces susceptibility to diseases. It also reduced the chances for the tree to be damaged due to weather and animals by removing unwieldy branches. Pruning is therefore the targeted removal of diseased, dead, dying or otherwise destructive parts to the trees long term health. Pruning should be done during dormant periods such as winter, although the removal of dead or diseased parts of the tree can be done at any time. Pruning is entirely safe for the tree’s health provided it is done properly. Pruning is often used interchangeably with tree lopping although the two are completely different practices. Lopping is done primarily for aesthetic purposes and can be harmful to the tree if done improperly. There is also no benefit other than aesthetics for lopping. It is not advice to attempt lopping of a tree without proper training and guidance as it has a high chance of damaging or even killing the tree. Therefore, the services of organisations such as tree lopping Gold Coast can be obtained it such a service is required.
Benefits of pruning
As mentioned previously, pruning is done for both aesthetics and for the health of the plant. Pruning removes diseased branches or leaves, or those dying with severe insect infestation which can spread to other branches of plants in the garden and cause even greater harm. Similarly, branches that may break off in the wind or rub together and cause fires are also selectively removed.
Pruning is also done to encourage flowering and fruit development as well as to increase the foliage of trees by encouraging leaf growth. It controls the size and shape of the plant which is useful in landscape design and allows effective light distribution in the landscaped area.
Types of pruning
There are several types of pruning depending on the cuts used and the degree of removal. Thinning is a method of pruning where an entire shoot, limb or branch is removed from its point of origin and is usually done to stimulate a plant whose growth has stagnated by removing mature, weak, and excessive growths. Topping is a form of pruning where almost all branches and growth are removed until only a few large branches or only the trunk of the tree is left. It is generally not advised to perform on mature trees and is done on young trees to achieve certain growth patterns. Raising is the removal of the lower branches from a tree in order to provide clearance for elements of the garden or people below the tree. Reduction reduces the size of the tree and is done for similar reasons as raiding. However, it primarily focuses on reducing the spread of the branches. It helps to maintain the structural integrity and form of the tree.