During Feburary, or when your snow melts, you will begin noticing all that damage from the winters snow and hail storms. You’ll also want to do a bit of shaping on your plants. Making the proper cuts will reduce excessive die-back and the potential for fungal diseases.
Graphic 1 shows how to make a proper pruning cut. The correct distance from the leaf node to the top of the cut should be about ¼ - ½ in.
Graphic 2 shows the cut too close to the node — thus causing the node to die and the potential for that portion of the stem to rot.
Graphic 3 shows the cut made into the node. This can cause problems during irrigation or rain when water droplets remain on the stem and potentially damage or rot the node.
Graphic 4 shows the cut made too far up the internode. Most plants will experience die back from that point back to the node. Besides being unsightly, this die-back can begin to decay, subsequently damaging the follow-on growth.
Graphic 1 is the correct way to make your pruning cuts. And although sealing the cut is not required on most of
our shrub pruning chores, you may want to seal a large wound with white glue to exclude subsequent insect damage
if you perform the pruning in late spring. Normally healthy plants will seal their own wounds within 30 minutes.
By Mark Whitelaw, Kindly Provided by Laura Whitelaw