How to prune different types of trees in your garden

Cut back on excess foliage with our guide on how to prune a peach tree and many other plants.

Updated

how to prune a tree

Key steps to tree trimming:

Learn how to trim a tree by following these steps:

  1. Remove diseased branches at the branch collar.
  2. Locate the main branches and remove any competing branches.
  3. Make sure not to remove flowering sections or you could stunt the growth!

Love garden but find your green fingers often lead to overgrowth? Sounds like you need to learn how to prune a tree. Not only does a little trimming keep your garden looking neat and tidy, but it’s also healthy for your trees. Try our expert tips on how to trim a tree to get started - we've split it out by different types of tree to help you.

When learning how to prune a tree, make sure you wear gloves, safety goggles, and appropriate clothing to prevent any accidents.

How to prune a lemon tree

When cutting a lemon tree, be sure to use sharp pruning sears and always cut with the blade towards the tree.

  1. Cut any branches that are damaged or diseased completely off, before moving onto healthy branches that have grown too long. 
  2. Undercut healthy branches 10-12 inches from where the branch begins. 
  3. Undercutting is when you cut one third of the way into the branch from the underside and then sever the branch by cutting a few inches further along on the top side.

How to prune a peach tree

If you have a peach tree, be sure to prune about 40% of it every year to make sure you’re always getting new growth. 

  1. Remove all branches in poor condition with a pruning saw.
  2. Keep your tree at a good height by topping off all of the branches.
  3. Choose 3-5 upward growing branches on the outside of the tree and remove any others that are similar in size.
  4. Remove any small, thin branches.
  5. Keep newer, red shoots cut back to around 18 inches, making outward-facing bud cuts.

How to trim a bonsai tree

Keep your plants in good shape by learning how to trim a bonsai tree. You can also follow these tips when learning how to prune a pomegranate tree.

  1. Start by pruning back any branches or shoots that have outgrown the shape and size of your tree using normal plant cutters or twig shears. 
  2. Do this regularly to help your tree distribute growth more evenly.

How to prune apple trees

Prune your apple tree in late winter for the best results, and follow these tips:

  1. Prune back diseased branches to just above the branch collar (the wrinkled part of the branch bear the tree trunk).
  2. Keep any healthy branches that are growing at a 45 or 50-degree angle from the trunk.
  3. Leave dark-coloured fruiting buds that grow from these angled branches.
  4. Remove all competing branches.

If you’ve got a garden with an abundance of trees, make sure you learn how to prune them all! You should also learn how to keep your flowers healthy too, so be sure to check out our tips on pruning roses.

Originally published