Undeniably, pruning is an essential gardening skill - by selectively removing branches, buds or even roots you can fight plant disease, enhance blooms, boost fruit production and reshape plants. Slowly, stem by stem, you can improve the health, appearance and productivity of your plants.
If you leave a plant or tree with dead or diseased parts, there's a risk more diseases and pests will form. If there is a weak spot it is wise to remove this part, including, broken branches, dead wood and wounds.
Unsurprisingly, pruning can help improve the shape and form of your plants - ensuring that they fulfill their potential. Pruning channels the plants energy into healthy stems, which results in growth and more blooms too!
If you have a tree which has become rotten or weak, pruning may be the only answer to ensure it does not injure someone, or damage property.
If you have a smaller garden, or even just pots and containers, pruning can help control the plants size. Remember, if you confine roots to a particular soil volume, they can be kept from invading unwanted areas - this technique will also help to reduce the overall size too.
A good prune will help revive old or straggly plants by stimulating renewed growth, diverting the plant's nutrients away from weak, poorly stems and branches into new, healthy ones.
Don't worry, even if you do prune at the 'wrong' time, your plant will probably recover in a season or two!