Winter is a great time to get out into the garden and tidy everything up. Plants are growing more slowly so it’s finally possible to get on top of everything with the added bonus of not being scorched by the harsh Australian sun. But before you rush out and starting pruning and tidying there are a few important considerations:

  1. Cut with purpose. Don’t cut anything for the sake of it. Ensure there is a purpose to your work. Both your back and the plants will thank you.
  2. Know your plants. Different plants prefer pruning at different times of the year. A quick Google search will reveal the best time of year for the particular species.
  3. Less is more. You can always go back and prune more off – it is very hard to sticky tape a branch back onto a tree and have it look good again.
  4. Use sharp and sterile cutting tools. Dull dirty tools can do a lot of harm to plants and spread disease.

It is worth stopping and thinking before you prune. Did you plant a tree that is not suitable for the location? Is it growing too fast or too big? Will it continue to obstruct the views? If any of these answers are yes, then maybe it is worth consider replacing the tree with something more suitable.

Deciduous trees and typically pruned in winter, but it is important to wait until after flowering before pruning any spring bloomers. Other types of plants to prune in winter include hedging plants such as buxus, murraya, photinia, lillipillie, or roses and flowering plants that produce blooms on new wood are best pruned when the plant is dormant.

A common question we get is about eucalyptus trees and if they need pruning. They don’t need pruning, unless you are shaping them or trying to promote flowers. If you did feel compelled to prune a eucalyptus tree then the best time would be to prune it any time except mid-summer. During summer the eucalyptus trees undergo stress and heavy pruning may end up killing the tree.