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  • Writer's pictureShelby Pietersen

How to prune your conifers

Conifers are popular for South African gardens due to their low maintenance and year-round foliage. However, to keep your conifers healthy and looking their best, it's important to prune them regularly.

In this blog post, we will go over the basics of conifer pruning, including when to prune, how to prune, and what tools to use. Pruning conifers is an essential part of maintaining the health and appearance of your garden. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can ensure that your conifers stay healthy and look their best.

When to Prune Conifers?

The best time to prune conifers is during their dormant season, which typically falls between late winter and early spring. This allows for easy identification of dead or diseased branches and prevents the plant from being stressed during the growing season.

How to Prune Conifers?

Identify Dead or Diseased Branches: The first step in pruning conifers is to identify any dead or diseased branches that need to be removed. These can be easily identified by their dry, brown needles and can be removed with sharp pruning shears or a pruning saw.

Thinning Out the Foliage on your Conifer:

Conifers tend to become overcrowded over time, so it's important to thin out the foliage to allow for better air and light penetration. This can be done by removing the innermost branches and allowing the outer branches to spread out.

Shaping your Conifer:

Conifers can be shaped to maintain a desired form, such as a cone or ball shape. To achieve this, remove any branches growing outside the desired shape.

Removing Suckers from your Conifer:

Conifers often produce suckers or small shoots that grow from the base of the tree. These should be removed to prevent them from becoming too large and taking over the tree.

What Tools to Use?

When pruning conifers, it's important to use sharp, high-quality tools to ensure a clean cut.

Pruning shears and a pruning saw are the most commonly used tools for conifer pruning. A pair of gloves is also recommended to protect your hands from the prickly needles.

Final reminders

Remember to prune during the dormant season, identify and remove dead or diseased branches, thin out the foliage, shape the plant, and remove suckers. Finally, make sure to

use the right tools for the job and not stress the tree during the growing season.

If you would like professional help when pruning your conifer, contact Overberg Arborists for a free online consultation today.



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