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How to prune a tree or shrub

5 STEPS

A tree or shrub may need pruning for many reasons: from diseased or storm-damage, to  shaping for design purposes or even to remove obstructions.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

Step

Begin by pruning away dead or damaged branches with a pruning shear, lopper or a saw

Step

Always cut branches on a slant, at a 45-degree angle

Your tools should be sharp enough to leave a straight, clear cut, with no ragged edges

Step

Take a look at the bush and find the tallest main branch

With your eye and hand, follow this main branch until it meets a lower side branch that more or less points upwards.

Step

Cut the main branch off just above the smaller one

Repeat the process with this and all main branches.

Step

When shaping, clip off any obvious pieces that are out of place