Why you should prune your deciduous trees to lift their canopy | Gardening 101 | Gardening Australia

Why you should prune your deciduous trees to lift their canopy | Gardening 101 | Gardening Australia

Sophie raises the canopy on some young deciduous trees to improve look, shape, and allow access underneath.  Winter is a good time to shape deciduous trees as they are dormant; without leaf you can easily see the trunk and branch structure which helps with decision making. Subscribe 🔔 http://ab.co/GA-subscribe
It is important not to prune young trees too early, “only do so when the canopy of the tree is large enough to provide some shelter to the trunk, otherwise you risk the tree suffering sunburn in summer”. The tree also requires all growth when young for photosynthesis, to ensure strong development. Each tree requires an individual assessment, but you can start formative pruning after 1-3 years in the ground.

Sophie has several trees that need attention this winter, including some ornamental pears and a maple.

– Pyrus ‘Winter Glow’ wasn’t pruned as a young tree and is branching low to the ground.
– A Snow Pear with low branches that are now a metre growing in each direction. The tree has put valuable energy into the low branches and not the height.
– Pyrus ‘Edgewood’, which was pruned previously, 2 years ago, but not hard enough! “I lifted the canopy to 1.4m. Now it’s a big tree I can see that I should have lifted it higher! At this height I can’t walk under it and so it still takes up lots of space. If I’d lifted to 2 metres, I could walk under it. But I’ve learnt my lesson!”  
– A group of trident maples that have been in the ground for a couple of years, planted when they were 2 metres tall. They are now around 3 m tall, and a good size to prune.

To lift the canopy of a tree you will need clean secateurs, loppers, and a pruning saw.

The cut should be positioned close to the trunk, but slightly away so that the bark collar at the base of the branch isn’t damaged and can entirely heal the wound.

Sophie removes only a small percentage of the overall growth each year, as her garden is in a very hot, dry and exposed location. In a less hostile environment, you could lift the canopy more quickly.

While formative pruning can influence the shape, maintaining soil health and supplying regular water is also important to a tree’s overall success.

Featured Plants:
SNOW PEAR  – Pyrus nivalis 
ORNAMENTAL PEAR  – Pyrus ‘Winter Glow’ 
ORNAMENTAL PEAR  – Pyrus ‘Edgewood’ 
TRIDENT MAPLE  – Acer buergerianum 
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6 Comments

  1. Not Today on August 5, 2022 at 12:22 am

    Awesome! Thank you for the tips 🥰🇦🇺

  2. Joshua W on August 5, 2022 at 12:27 am

    yes it’s pruning time

  3. Djaz T. on August 5, 2022 at 12:52 am

    Rather than considering pruned-off large branches waste, they could also be transformed to 3-6 years old new trees by means of air layering, no? Depends on the species of course. It’s just an idea so far that I have not tried, but maybe somebody has an insight how practical this would be.

  4. JSP on August 5, 2022 at 12:57 am

    Useful info thanks!

  5. jLyanne on August 5, 2022 at 12:59 am

    after a year, those trees can give wide shades.

  6. Tukang Taman on August 5, 2022 at 1:05 am

    Nice white flower, from Indonesia I see, how are you

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