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Spring Pruning – Nipping Buds

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Spring pruning made easy is possible!

Are you wondering how spring pruning made easy is possible? And you may be wondering if you should even prune at all in spring. Probably this is because tender young growth emerges on plants in spring. And when plants are in this fragile state, it can be tough to prune in spring without damaging your plants. But the reality is spring pruning may make your entire pruning program easier on you and on your garden for years to come.
spring pruning made easy starts with a bud like this

Step-by-step super easy spring pruning steps:

First, spring is a the time to roll out buds. And it’s really easy to nip these buds off your plants. In fact, you shouldn’t even need pruning tools to do it. Moreover, your plants will look better. And by taking these young stems out now, it’ll be easier for your plants to recover from the cuts.

What is this easy pruning technique?

Nipping or rolling buds is a pretty simple concept. Essentially, you use your fingers to easily pinch, nip or roll out sprouts that emerge in spots where you know you don’t want a branch to form. This pruning technique only works on young, tender growth. That’s because later in the season, branches toughen up. And once the growth gets tougher, you’ll need your sharp pruning tools to remove these branches without ripping, tearing and damaging your plant.

Rolling out a bud to do spring pruning

When growth is this tender, it’s as easy as rubbing your finger across the bud or pinching it at its base to do spring pruning.

Next: A Visual Guide for Spring Pruning Made Easy:

Suckers & buds on Crabapple

It’s now time to show you how sprung pruning can be really easy. First, we’ll roll out some buds crab apple. Then we’ll cut some suckers suckering branches. These suckers are branches that would have been a lot easier to remove by rolling out their buds in prior years.

So, take a look at the close-ups that follow.  (Psst! The grey lichen on the branch is just fine. Leave it be!)

Suckering growth on crabapple

This photo illustrates what happens if you don’t roll out buds in spring. Left in place, unwanted, often suckering, branches grow & now require pruning tools to remove. If you do have to cut out older branches, this article on leaking pruning cuts might help if it seems like your cuts are weeping!

So, doesn’t it sound easier to pinch or roll out unwanted growth right away?

focus on buds to prune in spring

In this image, focus on what’s in focus. That way you can see two buds breaking adjacent to two existing suckering branches. Left to grow, these buds will form even more unwanted suckering limbs.

So in summary, when you see buds like this, roll them out! That’ll really help make spring pruning easy. And it’ll make pruning a lot easier for years to come!

One comment on “Spring Pruning – Nipping Buds

  1. Gail Browne on

    I had no idea pruning is important for trees and I’ve never done it in my garden. I’m definitely looking closely this year and rolling some buds. Surely will ask if in doubt. Thank you for this helpful post and all the advises. Greets!

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