There are a few key considerations when it comes to pruning, primarily the identification of the ideal season. Autumn, contrary to popular belief, is not always the best time for this task. This article explains why some trees and shrubs should not undergo pruning in October.
Understanding Pruning in Autumn
During the cold season, plants adopt a survival strategy that concentrates energy into their roots. For this reason, pruning during autumn may not provide sufficient time for the plant to recover or heal its wounds.
This season also doesn’t promote the growth of plants or the propagation of flowers. Since plants do not blossom or develop in winter, any pruning carried out during the preceding autumn would not boost these processes.
Trees to Avoid Pruning in October
Cherry, pear, and plum trees, for example, are particularly vulnerable to pruning in October. The risk of contracting silver leaf disease is significantly increased due to this activity. It’s best to avoid it during this period.
Crabapple trees fall into the same bracket. These unique trees require only moderate pruning, optimally at the end of winter or the beginning of the spring season.
Another tree type that isn’t well suited to October pruning is the ornamental pear tree. This is because pruning can stimulate excessive growth, leading to an unwanted proliferation of suckers.
Shrubs Not to Prune in October
Just like trees, certain shrubs also present a challenge when pruned in October. For instance, the Oak leaf hydrangea flowers on new wood, which means that autumn pruning may interfere with its blooming phase.
Rhododendron shares this trait and should not undergo severe pruning during the autumn months. Similarly, Forsythia, which also flowers on the new wood, may lose its flower buds if pruned in the autumn.
The Lilac can withstand heavy pruning but it is not advised during the autumn season. On the other hand, Azaleas do not require substantial pruning. Pruning in autumn, for these flowers, is not recommended.
The Importance and Timing of Pruning
Pruning is a vital procedure for plant health and growth, but it must be done correctly and at the appropriate time to avoid causing problems.
The timing of the pruning can vary greatly depending on the plant. Some plants are best pruned in autumn, while others prefer late winter or early spring. Understanding these distinctions is the key to maintaining a healthy and vibrant garden.