Pruning is the selective removal of specific plant parts like shoots and branches but the roots, flower buds, fruits, and seed pods can also be pruned. Pruning done in a regular basis as part of plant care achieves the following:
makes the plant less dense
improves the air circulation and sunlight penetration that decrease the incidence of diseases and the conditions that promote fungal growth
improves the plant's appearance and health
gets rid of the pests infested parts
allow the natural enemies to find their preys easily
controls the size of a plant
trains the young plants to become what you want them to be
influences the plant's flowering and fruiting (proper pruning of flower buds encourages early vegetative growth)
repairs and renews the appearance of old plants
allows a better access for pest control
Pruning for pest control
- Prune diseased, damaged, and/or dead plant parts. The prompt removal of these parts prevents the spread of the disease and speeds the formation of plant tissues that seal the wound.
- Prune leaves with egg masses.
- Prune insect/mite pests' infested tender shoot tips or any other parts where they are found in great numbers.
- Prune webbed leaves.
- Prune mined foliage.
- Prune the crossing branches and those that are rubbing or interfering with each other.
Pruning is done best during dry weather as it minimizes the spread of the pathogens causing diseases.
Always use sharp pruning tools to have clean and smooth cuts angled to shed water and absorb sunlight.
Snap-off suckers with your hand while they are tender for least re-growth.
Dip your pruning tools into container with 10% bleach solution and wash your hands in between pruning the diseased plants.
After pruning, disinfect your pruning tools, rinse them with water, and oil all the metal parts to prevent from rusting.
Ask for assistance from your local agriculturist for the proper pruning techniques on fruit trees.