For pruning branches over ¾ inches thick, you’re going to need a pair of loppers. These cutting tools come in handy for pruning shrubs, trees, roses, tall perennials with woody stems and even full-size sunflowers. If you’re investing in loppers, select bypass cutting blades (not anvil), and multiply your cutting strength up to three times with Fiskars PowerGear brand. The gears in this cutting design let you cut through branches far beyond your natural strength. Look for loppers with extendable handles to increase your reach. Loppers will handle most cutting jobs, but at some point you may need to expand your tool base to include a pruning saw and, for out-of-reach limbs, a pole saw.
Whether you prune it or pull it, keeping dense, tall foliage away from the house shows off the Craftsman's distinct architectural features to full advantage. The paint colors are by BEHR: Shale Gray, Powdered Snow and Wooden Swing.
Create a stunning centerpiece for your spring table using seasonal flowers and paper mache letters. Gather the following materials for this project: a craft knife, paper mache letters, floral foam, fresh flowers and pruning shears.
This evergreen shrub is a workhorse in a shrub border, delivering strong year-round color. Evergreen winter leaves provide a beautiful backdrop to white, bell-like blooms that appear in spring. New leaves emerge fiery pink, fading to white-edged green in summer. Plants grow 4 to 5 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Good to know: This pieris doesn’t need pruning, but accepts it easily if you need to keep it a certain size or shape. For best results, prune after flowering.
Evergreen clematis bring year-round color to gardens, and the variety known as Avalanche is no exception. This beauty offers an avalanche of snow white blooms in spring. Also known as Clematis x cartmanii ‘Blaaval,’ this clematis grows best in part to full sun. Vines grow 12 to 15 feet tall with support and belong to Pruning Group 1. This means plants don’t typically need pruning, but if you must cut stems to help contain growth or reduce height, make cuts immediately after blooming. Hardy in Zones 7-9.
Embrace a new boxwood that’s hardy, deer-resistant and beautiful. Variegated leaves sport green with a lime margin that deepens to gold as summer unfolds. This winter hardy boxwood adapts well to formal gardens, shrub borders or containers. Or use it as a hedge or foundation planting. Evergreen leaves provide good winter interest. Plants grow in sun or shade, reaching 1 to 3 feet tall and wide. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Good to know: This boxwood tolerates heavy pruning but doesn’t require any pruning. If desired, clip to shape in summer.
Few gardeners grow artemisia for its flowers, which are small and not at all showy. But the plants have attractive grayish-green to silvery foliage that's great for dried arrangements. Prune them in late summer to keep them looking neat, and strip the leaves away from the cut ends. Hang them upside down to dry in a well-ventilated, dark place to dry. If you prefer, prune after the flowers appear. Artemisias make a good filler for arrangements, wreaths and swags. In the garden, the plants are stunning beside blue flowers.
Toss the leaves of fragrant Bay Laurel into soups, stews and other dishes, or simply enjoy this pretty ornamental shrub on your windowsill; it adapts nicely to most home conditions. Give this perennial lots of sun and prune it as needed.
Tree trunks can develop enlarged bumps or galls. Many things can cause a gall to form: bacteria, insects, fungi or some kind of injury. A tree can have one or many galls. Arborists find that trees with many galls typically have a shorter lifespan, but the presence of a gall isn’t a tremendous cause for alarm. If you’re pruning a tree with a gall, it’s wise to sterilize pruning tools after working on the tree in case the cause is a microorganism that can spread to other healthy trees.
Why we love it: The red berries absolutely sparkle against a snowy backdrop. Winterberry is a cinch to grow—it requires only the most minimal care after planting. Prune occasionally as needed to shape plants. Make sure you plant a male pollinator to ensure a good berry set.
‘Green Sport’ Western red cedar is a fast growing tree that’s the perfect choice for creating an elegant—and evergreen—privacy screen. Plants respond well to pruning, allowing you to create the ideal hedge. Hardy in Zones 5-9. Botanical name: Thuja plicata ‘Green Sport’
Meet the national tree of Japan. Cryptomeria handles pruning well and can be easily maintained to a just-right size for your space. Plants grow rapidly, reaching a mature height of 5-10 feet tall and 4-8 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 6 to 9. Botanical name: Cryptomeria japonica ‘PIICJ-I’
Popular with garden designers worldwide due to its ability to be pruned into many shapes, boxwood hedge is a perfect fit for topiary. It requires full sun to grow, so it’s best fit for placement in front of a porch or patio rather than inside of a shade-covered outdoor area.
This classic clematis traces its history to the 1850s, when it made its way to the United States from England. One of the most popular clematis, ‘Jackmanii’ is beloved for its deep purple blooms that blanket the plant from early summer into fall. To prune, in late winter or early spring cut all stems back to the previous year’s woody stem, which should be just above the base of the plant. Pruning this way helps avoid a situation later where the base of the plant becomes one bare stem with a tangle of vines above it. Vines grow 4 to 12 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide. Hardy in Zones 4 to 10.