We and our advertising partners use cookies on this site. Please see our Terms of Use for further details.

Garden.Help Logo Graphic

About Us | Terms of Use

Diagnose plant problems and treat garden pests

Gardening News

General Help


Have a go...

Win and Save

Interactive Tools

Plant Doctor


Home /

Annual Pruning Guide

Pruning is an important part of regular garden maintenance. However, pruning at the wrong time can actually do far more harm than good. Use the box below to find out the best time to prune different varieties of trees and shrubs.

Image of soil

Here are some general guidelines on pruning:

Remove dead wood

Cut back to where the dead branch joins the stem.

Remove diseased and damaged wood

Branches that are badly diseased or cankered, or any that have been broken by wind or snow, should be removed.

Remove weak and overcrowded wood

Remove very thin and weak stems. If the branches are tighly packed at the centre of the plant consider removing some old wood to improve appearance and vigour.

Remove suckers

If the plant is grafted remove suckers growing from below the graft. Some non-grafted shrubs also produce suckers from the rootstock that should be removed.

Remove overgrowth

Remove awkwardly placed or problematic branches (eg. overhanging a path). This should be tackled every year and not left until it is a significant task.

Gardening Projects for September

Learn about How to plant through weed-suppressing membrane
Learn about  How to make the most of your dahlias
Learn about How to Propagate Lilies from Bulbils
Learn about How to turf a lawn
How to turf a lawn

Difficulty: 3 / 5

Gardening Ideas

Plant Specialists

Diagnose orchid plant problems and improve orchid care
Orchid Doctor
Diagnose fruit plant pests and fruit plant problems
Soft Fruit Doctor
Do a soil test to find out your soil type
Soil Doctor
Diagnose pest and disease problems with fruit trees and bushes.
Top Fruit Doctor

Gardening Tools

Learn which plant pests attack which types of fruit.
Fruit Pests
Learn when and how to prune different types of plants
Pruning Guide
Learn which plants will grow in your soil
Soil pH Guide
Learn when and how to plant different vegetable seeds
Vegetable Planting Guide